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Reminiscences  of 

as  told  to  and  written  by  his  wife 

Copyright,  1913.  by  G«oige  Middleton 

to  my  beloved  wife 




«a»  To  he  accurate,  lorite; 


22  To  remember,  write; 

^  To  know  thine  own  mind,  write. 




My  father,  with  my  mother,  came  to  this  great  and 
wonderful  continent  in  1842,  landing  at  Quebec, 
Canada,  my  eldest  brother,  William,  being  born  there. 
The  family  removed  to  Boston  in  1845,  where  my 
father,  James  Haslam  Middleton,  was  employed  in  the 
Charlestown  Navy  Yard.  There  we  lived  in  sight  of 
Bunker  Hill  for  ten  years.  During  this  time  three 
children  were  born,  George,  James  Haslam  and 
Charles.  My  father  then  succumbed  to  the  western 
fever  and  with  his  little  family,  started  for  Indiana. 
I  was  a  youngster,  but  well  do  I  recall  the  boat  and 
its  lights,  and  the  excitement  of  being  on  the  water 
from  Cincinnati,  Ohio,  to  Madison,  Indiana,  our 
objective  point.  As  we  were  leaving  the  boat  I 
looked  back  and  exclaimed  in  delight,  "Mother, 
the  boat  has  an  upstairs!" 

We  settled  at  Madison,  Indiana,  which  in  those 
days  was  a  wide  awake,  thriving  town,  located  on  the 
Ohio  river,  surrounded  by  beautiful  and  attractive 
scenery.  Madison  lies  huddled  at  the  foot  of  beautiful 
hills  overlooking  the  Ohio,  and  one  can  see  beautiful 
trees   swaying  contentedly,   tobacco   fields   and   dis- 


tilleries.  I  have  traveled  this  old  world  a  great  deal, 
but  it  is  diflScult  to  find  a  more  charming  spot; 
Nature  had  indeed  been  more  than  kind  to  that  part 
of  the  country. 

The  principal  industry  at  Madison  was  the  pork 
packing  business,  and  more  hogs  were  killed  and 
packed  there  at  that  time  than  in  Chicago.  Madison 
had  the  first  railway  in  the  state,  which  was  built  to 
Indianapolis,  the  capital  city.  Up  the  hill  from 
Madison  was  the  heaviest  railway  grade  in  the  world 
at  that  time.  The  principal  freight  that  went  over  the 
road  was  brought  down  the  Ohio  river  from  Pittsburg 
by  boats,  transferred  to  rail  at  Madison  and  shipped 
into  the  interior  of  the  state. 

The  Reverend  James  Greenleaf,  of  Madison,  cor- 
responded with  my  father  while  he  was  in  Boston  and 
advised  his  going  west.  He  wrote  a  glowing  account 
of  the  possibilities  in  the  quaint  little  place.  On  our 
arrival  we  stopped  with  a  family  by  the  name  of 
Merens  until  the  necessary  arrangements  could  be 
made  to  start  housekeeping.  This  good  couple  did 
not  have  a  family,  and  I  often  think  of  how  they  must 
have  enjoyed  four  boys  as  full  of  life  as  we  were. 
I  fancy  they  did  not  regret  being  childless. 

One  of  the  principal  characters  living  in  Madison 
was  an  old  gentleman  known  by  the  name  of  Gundy 
Lawrence.  He  had  been  elected  to  the  Legislature. 
When  the  time  came  to  attend  he  rode  to  Indianapolis, 


a  distance  of  eight-five  miles,  on  a  dray.  This  of 
course  gave  him  great  notoriety.  In  later  years  he 
was  town  crier,  announcing  public  auctions,  lost 
children,  strayed  or  stolen  horses  and  cows.  When  he 
was  to  announce  political  meetings  he  would  mount  his 
horse  about  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  and  swing- 
ing a  big  brass  bell  he  would  start  out  with  his  cry 
that  such  and  such  a  prominent  man  would  "speak 
at  the  Town  Hall  at  early  candle  lighting."  It  was 
seldom  he  rode  past  a  saloon  without  making  a  call, 
with  the  result  that  he  would  continue  the  cry  of 
"speech  making  at  early  candle  lighting,"  while  the 
candles  had  been  lighted  and  burning  for  at  least  two 
hours.  He  surely  was  a  character  long  to  be 

After  looking  over  the  ground  my  father  decided 
there  was  an  opening  for  a  meat  shop,  as  there  was 
not  one  in  the  town,  all  the  meat  being  sold  in  the 
market  house.  On  his  small  capital  he  opened  a  meat 
shop  and  grocery  store.  After  the  business  was  under 
way,  and  housekeeping  affairs  were  adjusted,  we 
youngsters  were  started  off  to  school,  which  I  am 
sorry  to  say  I  was  not  fond  of  attending,  and  did  not 
do  so  when  it  was  possible  to  avoid  it.  On  my  return 
home  from  school  the  first  day  my  mother  asked  me: 
"George,  how  do  you  like  school?"  I  replied:  "I 
don't  like  that  school."  "Don't  like  it!  Why?" 
"  Because  the  room  has  no  cupboard  in  it."    This  goes 


to  show  that  early  in  life  I  was  more  fond  of  something 
to  eat  than  of  knowledge. 

The  hills,  the  river,  the  surrounding  country,  all  so 
new,  had  a  great  charm  for  me,  so  much  more  attrac- 
tive than  the  school  room.  I  loved  the  river,  to  fish, 
swim,  to  get  into  a  skiff  and  take  a  ride,  to  paddle 
around  on  a  board.  The  negro  slaves  coming  over 
from  Kentucky  with  their  masters  on  trading  trips 
were  a  new  sight  to  me.  The  hair  of  men  and  women 
was  done  in  pigtails  bound  around  with  string. 

If  down  on  the  river  bank  was  attractive  to  me,  the 
surrounding  hills,  covered  with  nut-bearing  trees  of 
all  kinds,  grape  vines,  berries,  orchards.  May  apples 
and  other  wonders  were  more  so.  How  I  loved  to 
roam  over  those  hills!  What  freedom  I  knew  in  my 
youth!  I  often  dream  that  part  of  my  life  over  again 
when  seated  in  a  comfortable  chair  with  a  good  cigar, 
before  a  log  fire  blazing  away  merrily. 

About  this  time  wild  pigeons,  which  are  now  extinct, 
would  fly  in  thousands  from  the  hills  of  Kentucky 
across  the  river  to  the  hills  on  the  Indiana  side. 
My  father,  who  was  a  good  shot,  along  with  hundreds 
of  others,  would  go  up  on  the  hills,  taking  my  brother 
William  and  me  along  to  gather  up  the  pigeons.  In  a 
few  hours  shooting  we  would  bag  hundreds  of  them. 
It  seems  strange  that  these  pigeons  should  become 
extinct,  when  at  that  time  there  were  millions  of 


From  my  father  and  these  shoots  I  first  acquired 
my  incentive  for  shooting  and  hunting,  of  which  I 
have  grown  fonder  as  the  years  pass.  Well  do  I 
remember  my  first  fifteen  cents.  I  spent  five  cents  for 
gunpowder,  five  cents  for  shot  and  five  cents  for  caps. 
Then  off  to  the  hills!  Sometimes  I  returned  with  a 
quail,  a  squirrel  or  a  rabbit,  and  as  often  empty 

Coons  and  opossums  were  very  plentiful  in  the 
woods  in  those  days.  Some  negroes  living  in  the  town 
always  owned  a  few  coon  hounds.  I  often  wanted  to  go 
with  them  coon  hunting,  so  one  night  they  decided  to 
permit  me,  the  condition  being  that  I  was  to  supply 
a  quart  of  whiskey  (cost  ten  cents).  There  was  no 
tax  on  liquor  in  those  days.  I  was  to  carry  an  ax, 
and  we  were  to  set  out  about  nine  o'clock  at  night 
through  the  dark  woods.  After  a  time  we  would  hear 
the  hounds  on  the  trail,  and  the  negroes  could  always 
tell  when  the  coon  was  treed.  When  we  would  get  up 
to  the  dogs  we  would  find  them  at  the  foot  of  the  tree 
up  which  the  coon  had  climbed.  The  negroes  would 
then  set  to  work  chopping  the  tree  down,  always 
knowing  which  way  to  throw  it.  We  would  stand 
holding  the  dogs  so  as  to  let  them  get  into  the  tree 
tops.  They  would  always  get  the  coon,  after  a  most 
exciting  fight.  Thus  ended  the  coon  hunts,  after 
tramping  the  woods  all  night  until  daylight  next 


Fox  hunting  was  another  favorite  pastime,  but 
after  an  experience  of  walking  ten  miles  in  the  rain, 
over  hills  and  valleys,  I  gave  it  up,  and  will  tell  you 
of  my  last  one.  Tom  SchoU,  whom  I  thought  was  a 
great  friend  of  mine,  came  for  me  one  day  to  attend  a 
fox  hunt.  It  was  to  take  place  the  following  day  and 
was  to  start  from  his  uncle's  home,  near  the  forks  of 
Indian  and  Kentuck  Creeks.  I  asked  my  father's 
permission  to  ride  a  horse,  but  he  refused,  saying: 
"My  son,  I  do  not  feed  horses  to  chase  foxes."  This 
was  an  awful  blow,  but  after  thinking  it  over  I 
decided  to  attend  the  chase  anyhow.  I  tore  down  the 
back  fence,  saddled  the  horse  and  slipped  away  to  the 
forks  of  the  creek,  determined  and  ready  to  take  part 
in  the  chase  the  next  day. 

There  were  two  roads  to  the  forks  of  the  creek. 
SchoU  and  I  took  one  of  them.  When  we  arrived  we 
spied  father's  horse  tied  to  the  rack  in  front  of  the 
store.  He  had  taken  the  other  road  and  arrived  there 
first.  About  this  time  a  farmer  went  to  the  store  and 
father  asked  him  if  he  had  seen  the  boys.  The  farmer 
replied:  "Yes,  they  are  over  to  SchoU's  uncle's." 
Father  followed  over,  took  the  horse  and  returned 
home,  leading  my  horse,  leaving  me  to  chase  foxes 
afoot — not  a  very  pleasant  prospect.  Besides,  there 
was  the  thought  of  what  was  to  follow  on  my  return 
home.  Scholl  consoled  me  by  saying  that  we  would 
ride  "turn  about "  next  day  in  the  chase. 


In  the  morning  the  fox  was  started.  Away  went  the 
dogs  and  the  riders,  and  I,  afoot.  I  did  not  see  my 
friend,  a  horse  or  a  fox  during  the  chase.  I  pulled 
up  at  Ike  Short's  afoot,  more  dead  than  alive.  He 
gave  me  a  large  slice  of  bread  and  butter  and  I  went 
on  my  way  to  the  forks  of  the  creek,  where  we  arrived 
about  dark.  Then  came  the  question  of  my  getting 
home,  and  what  I  would  get  on  my  return.  I  proposed 
to  ride  behind  my  friend  Scholl,  but  he  said  his  father 
would  not  stand  for  that,  but  that  we  would  "ride 
and  hitch,"  which  means  that  he  would  ride  two  miles, 
then  hitch  the  horse  and  walk  on.  I  would  come  afoot 
to  where  he  had  hitched  the  horse,  mount  and  ride 
past  him  a  mile  or  two,  hitch  the  horse  and  walk  on. 
Well,  Scholl  started  out  and  I  followed,  expecting  to 
find  the  horse  hitched  awaiting  me,  but  to  my  disgust, 
my  good  friend  had  forgotten  to  hitch  the  horse  for 
me,  and  I  walked  about  ten  miles  home.  This  was 
my  last  fox  hunt. 

After  a  hearty  meal  at  home  we  boys  would  often 
go  to  the  meat  shop,  help  ourselves  to  sausage,  beef- 
steak and  potatoes,  then  go  to  the  hills,  build  a  fire, 
cook  the  meat  by  holding  it  over  the  fire  with  a  forked 
stick  and  bake  the  potatoes  in  the  ashes.  A  feast  fit 
for  the  gods,  as  I  thought. 

About  that  time  in  my  life  I  felt  that  I  wanted  the 
experience  of  running  on  the  river.  Steamboats  were 
then  in  the  height  of  their  prosperity  and  Polk  Cook,  a 


friend,  and  I  decided  that  we  would  hire  out  on  one  of 
the  boats,  to  work  in  the  cabin  as  cabin  boy  or  in  the 
pantry  as  knife  shiner.  If  we  failed  in  those  ambitions 
we  would  go  as  deck  sweepers.  Anything — but  we 
must  w^ork  on  a  boat.  I  furnished  the  money  to  buy 
two  blue  and  white  checked  shirts,  two  leather  belts, 
and  two  butcher  knives  in  leather  cases  which 
we  strapped  to  us. 

We  applied  to  the  first  boat  that  landed.  Polk  got 
the  job  as  deck  sweeper — they  drove  me  ashore.  Thus 
were  my  ambitions  as  a  river  man  crushed.  Polk  had 
the  shirt,  the  knife  and  the  belt;  the  bell  rang,  the 
boat  steamed  out,  and  I  stood  on  the  shore  and 
watched  the  boat  float  away.  Poor  Polk  afterward 
went  to  war  and  lost  his  life. 

I  learned  years  afterward  that  my  father  was 
acquainted  with  the  stewards  on  the  boats  and  had 
told  them  never  to  take  me.  The  extent  of  my 
boating  was  limited  to  when  a  steamboat  coming  up 
the  river  would  coal,  taking  in  tow  a  barge,  from  which 
the  coal  would  be  transferred  to  the  boat  while  on 
its  way  up  the  river,  so  as  not  to  lose  time.  The  empty 
barges  were  then  floated  back,  and  in  that  way  I  got 
a  ride. 

About  this  time  I  began  to  think  of  making  money 
and  would  go  out  and  pick  wild  blackberries  and 
bring  them  into  town,  where  they  sold  for  ten  cents  a 
gallon.    At  the  end  of  the  berry  season  I  became  a 


sheep  butcher,  going  out  among  the  farmers  for  miles 
around  to  buy  sheep  after  shearing  time.  Costing 
about  a  dollar  apiece,  we  would  kill  them,  market 
them  by  the  quarter  at  twenty-five  cents  a  quarter, 
leaving  us  the  sheep  pelt  as  a  profit.  I  was  fairly 
successful  at  this  until  I  went  into  the  adjoining 
county  and  bought  eighty  head  of  a  Henry  Charlton. 
Driving  them  home,  I  met  my  father  riding  horseback 
on  his  way  to  look  at  some  cattle.  He  asked  me  what 
price  I  had  paid  for  the  sheep.  I  told  him  one  dollar 
a  head.  He  said:  "It  will  be  the  last,  my  son,  that 
you  will  buy,  for  you  will  lose  your  money."  This 
was  true,  for  they  were  just  skin  and  bone.  I  will 
here  say  that  on  these  trips  I  bought  eggs  for  five  cents 
a  dozen.  Since  that  time  I  have  seen  them  sell  for 
sixty-five  cents. 

My  father  was  a  strong  Republican,  so  I  was  one 
likewise.  My  only  reason  at  that  time  was  that  the 
campaign  of  Fremont  and  Buchanan  was  opening  up, 
which  furnished  plenty  of  excitement  for  me  to  take 
part  in;  so  off  I  went  to  the  woods  to  cut  a  flag  pole 
from  which  to  fly  a  streamer  with  the  names  of 
Fremont  and  Dayton. 

The  meetings  and  barbecues  of  both  parties  were 
held  quite  often  and  I  always  managed  to  attend, 
not  to  hear  the  speakers  but  to  see  the  fights,  which 
never  failed  to  take  place.  I  remember  when  a  man 
living  at  Brooksburg  up  the  river  six  miles  from 


Madison,  came  down  the  day  before  election  and  was 
asked,  "How  are  things  at  Brooksburg?"  He  replied, 
"There  will  be  a  great  time  there  tomorrow,  for  when 
I  left  they  were  gathering  rocks  to  fight  with." 

There  were  parades.  One  I  remember  very  well. 
A  forty-ox  team  was  driven  to  one  wagon  in  which 
ladies  rode  representing  each  state  in  the  Union. 
There  was  a  great  deal  of  excitement  and  unrest  along 
the  border  at  this  time.  Things,  however,  became 
quiet  until  after  the  election  of  Lincoln.  (Today  as  I 
write  I  find  this  is  Lincoln's  birthday,  February  12th, 
1912.)  When  the  feeling  of  unrest  became  evident 
again,  groups  of  young  men  formed  into  home  guards, 
as  the  temper  was  strong  for  "war",  which  came 
sooner  than  was  expected.  I  was  anxious  to  be 
among  them,  but  was  refused  because  of  my  youth. 
But  I  found  pleasure  and  excitement  in  going  to  the 
steamboat  landing  to  see  them  off.  On  one  occasion 
I  went  aboard  and  as  far  as  Louisville  without  a  cent 
of  money. 




About  this  time  Company  E  of  the  Third  Indiana 
Cavalry  was  formed,  in  which  my  brother  William 
enlisted.  This  made  me  more  anxious  than  ever  to  be 
a  soldier,  but  again  I  was  refused.  After  they  were 
out  six  months  recruiting  officers  were  sent.  I  ran 
away,  walked  to  Lexington,  Indiana,  and  enlisted  in 
the  Thirty-eighth  Indiana  Regiment.  The  Company 
was  sent  to  New  Albany,  camping  on  the  fair  grounds, 
when  my  father  learned  of  my  whereabouts.  He 
came  for  me,  and  home  he  took  me.  After  returning 
I  went  to  Kentucky  and  tried  to  enlist  in  the  Thirty- 
ninth  Indiana,  encamped  at  Nolin  Creek.  After  I 
was  there  a  few  days  they  learned  my  age  and  returned 
me  home.  My  father  said  to  me :  "  If  you  remain  at 
home  for  six  months  I  will  permit  you  to  enlist  in 
the  same  company  with  your  brother."  In  a  short 
time  the  recruiting  officers  came  along.  My  father 
gave  me  a  horse.  I  enlisted  and  joined  the  regiment 
at  Budd's  Ferry,  Maryland,  March,  1862.  Shortly 
after  my  arrival  we  moved  over  into  Virginia  and  I 
was  in  the  war  sure  enough.  We  rode  back  and  forth 
over  a  large  portion  of  Virginia.  The  first  skirmish 
was  near  Fredericksburg.  From  there  I  went  to 
Cedar  Mountain.    The  next  real  service  was  through 


Maryland  up  to  South  Mountain,  Antietara  back  into 
Virginia,  Battle  of  Fredericksburg,  Chancellorsville, 
Gettysburg,  then  back  into  Virginia,  where  on  the 
first  day  of  August,  1863,  I  with  George  E.  Stanley 
was  taken  prisoner  and  landed  in  Libby  Prison. 
After  being  confined  there  three  weeks,  we  were 
changed  to  Belle  Isle,  where  with  ten  thousand 
others,  I  was  kept  eight  long  months  until  the  following 
March.  I  was  detailed  to  cut  the  meat  in  the  cook 
house,  as  a  squad  of  our  men  were  detailed  to  cook  for 
the  prisoners.  It  was  not  long  before  we  had  no  beef 
to  cut,  and  our  diet  was  black  eyed  peas.  Not  wishing 
to  be  put  back  in  the  stockade  I  turned  to  cooking. 
We  would  cook  all  night  for  the  day  following.  There 
was  not  much  of  a  variety,  sometimes  only  sweet 
potatoes.  About  this  time  they  called  for  bakers. 
A  number  went  out  and  baked  corn  bread,  which 
was  nothing  more  than  corn  meal  and  water  mixed 
together.  We  did  a  great  deal  of  business  for  a  while 
with  the  prison  guards.  They  would  have  a  sack  of 
biscuit  or  other  food  for  sale.  Our  boys  got  to  making 
money  (to  imitate  the  greenbacks),  buying  from  the 
guards  any  food  they  had  for  sale.  In  the  night  it 
was  diflBcult  to  detect  the  spurious  from  the  real. 
To  make  this  money  we  would  grease  a  piece  of  writing 
paper,  which  made  it  transparent,  lay  it  on  top  of  a 
genuine  bill  and  trace  the  dark  lines  with  ink  and  the 
lighter  ones  with  a  lead  pencil,  then  wrinkle  it  up  to 


make  it  appear  as  though  it  had  been  in  circulation. 
They  would  not  be  able  to  detect  it  until  the  next  day. 
However,  this  only  lasted  a  short  time.  They  would 
not  sell  us  anything  more. 

I  will  say  here  that  Lieutenant  Bosseau,  who  had 
charge  of  this  island,  was  a  very  kind,  humane  man 
and  was  in  no  way  responsible  for  the  suffering,  want 
of  food  or  medicines.  On  the  other  hand.  Lieutenant 
Roe  was  a  vile  person.  The  Southern  soldiers  them- 
selves were  very  short  of  food.  We  could  not  expect 
to  have  any  more  than  they  had.  The  exchange  of 
prisoners  was  stopped.  The  Confederate  Government 
did  not  recognize  General  Ben.  Butler  as  a  gentleman, 
and  would  not  treat  with  him.  Then  again,  it  was 
said  that  our  Government  would  not  give  up  healthy 
Southern  prisoners  in  exchange  for  sick,  emaciated 
Northern  ones.  About  this  time  word  came  that 
there  would  be  an  exchange  of  about  two  hundred 
sick  on  each  side.  All  this  time  time  I  had  not  been 
idle.  I  had  made  about  two  hundred  dollars  selling 
things  to  eat  to  the  bounty  jumpers'  substitutes,  so 
I  offered  to  pay  one  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  to  the 
Southern  sergeant  if  he  would  let  me  take  away  five 
of  my  friends  along  with  the  sick  prisoners  that  were 
going  North.  He  took  my  money  and  counted  us  in 
with  the  sick,  otherwise  I  would  have  landed  at 
Andersonville.  In  a  few  days  we  arrived  at  Annapolis ; 
the  first  one  to  salute  me  was  Jasper  Jones  of  my 


company.  He  advised  us,  when  we  were  told  to 
throw  away  our  blankets  and  draw  new  ones,  not  to  do 
so,  but  on  the  contrary  to  grab  as  many  as  we  could. 
This  we  did,  getting  one  dollar  a  piece  for  them. 
Shortly  after  our  arrival  we  were  taken  up  to  the 
sanitary  commission  building,  where  the  good  ladies 
in  charge  gave  us  supplies  of  all  kinds  for  our  comfort. 
Looking  over  six  of  us,  they  remarked:  "Did  you 
men  come  from  Richmond?"  "Yes,  madame." 
"You  look  very  well  for  sick  boys",  she  replied. 
"We  are  not  as  well  as  we  look,  lady,  we  are  bloated." 

(Oh  the  joy  of  these  evenings  before  the  cracking 
olive  wood  fire,  with  Mr.  Middleton  smoking  his 
favorite  cigar,  taking  the  comfort  of  a  king  in  a 
Louis  XV.  chair.  I  feel,  dear  and  excellent  reader,  that 
I  want  to  share  this  with  you. — Mrs.  R.  K.  M.) 

After  a  short  stay  here  we  were  sent  to  the  dis- 
mounted camp  at  Washington,  D.  C,  where  I  was 
detailed  as  orderly  to  Colonel  William  Gamble,  with 
whom  I  remained  until  the  expiration  of  my  three 
years  enlistment.  Then  I  went  on  to  my  company 
at  Winchester,  Virginia,  where  I  was  mustered  out 
and  left  for  my  home  in  Madison.  After  reaching 
home,  I  was  restless  and  Uke  a  fish  out  of  water, 
notwithstanding  my  parents  had  refurnished  the 
home  in  fine  style  to  welcome  my  home  coming. 
Not  having  sisters  to  be  consulted  in  matters  of 
decorations  and  selection  of  furniture,  the  folks  had 


made  everything  comfortable  and  to  suit  a  boy's 
taste.  The  most  imposing  thing  to  my  mind  was  the 
parlor  set,  consisting  of  a  settee,  a  rocker,  six  chairs, 
all  upholstered  with  black  mohair,  and  a  center  table. 

Kind  reader,  fancy  the  change,  if  you  can,  after 
three  years  of  sitting  on  the  ground  or  logs  or  hard- 
tack boxes.  At  times  I  found  it  very  diflScult  to  keep 
my  seat  on  the  mohair,  frequently  sliding  off  on  to  the 
floor.  When  we  had  callers,  to  be  sure  of  my  seat, 
I  had  to  hold  on. 

On  the  walls  were  three  chromos.  Rembrandt  or 
Leonardo  de  Vinci  never  painted  anything  that  was 
as  wonderful  to  me,  as  I  recall  them  now. 

After  hand-shaking  around  for  a  few  months,  I 
began  to  look  for  something  to  do,  in  which  search 
I  did  not  have  much  success.  I  had  occasion  to  go  to 
Cincinnati  for  a  day  or  two,  and  it  so  happened  while 
I  was  there  that  the  news  came  of  General  Lee's 
surrender.  From  that  day  to  this  I  have  never  heard 
such  a  noise  and  din  as  took  place  on  that  occasion. 




Returning  to  Madison,  I  decided  to  go  to  school  a 
while  to  a  French  school  master — Monsieur  Pierforke 
— who  had  lost  one  arm  in  his  native  country  in  a 
battle.  Having  spent  three  years  in  the  army,  when 
I  returned  to  school  reduced  in  class  rank»  I  felt 
discouraged,  and  becoming  discontented  I  soon 
stopped.  After  a  time  I  got  a  position  on  the  wharf 
boat,  Vevay,  Indiana,  where  I  remained  one  year. 
While  here  I  decided  I  needed  a  wife.  As  the  available 
ones  seemed  to  be  going  very  fast  I  had  a  fear  that 
there  would  not  be  enough  to  go  around,  so  I  took 
one  unto  myself,  a  Miss  Kate  Rea.  After  about 
eighteen  years  of  wedded  life  we  agreed  to  disagree. 

Returning  to  Madison  I  opened  a  cigar  store. 
After  a  few  months,  during  which  time  I  was  my  own 
best  customer,  along  came  an  agent  for  the  Grover 
&  Baker  Sewing  Machine  company,  of  Cincinnati. 
He  gave  me  the  agency  of  the  machine  and  furnished 
me  a  wagon.  I  sold  my  cigar  store  to  take  up  this 
business  and  set  off  through  the  country  to  peddle 
sewing  machines.  My  territory  was  Southern  In- 
diana and  Northern  Kentucky.  I  was  fairly  success- 
ful, but  grew  weary  of  it.  An  opportunity  came  along 
to   go   to   Edinburg,   Indiana,   to   manage   a   hotel. 

My  father  hp.d  a  poor  opinion  of  the  circus  business.  I  had 
this  photo  taken  when  out  in  my  first  circus  venture  and 
when  he  received  it  he  expressed  himself  as  written,  "The 
Lost  Boy."  But  he  was  wrong;  I  was  never  lost  but  on  the 
contrary  was  found. 


While  there  in  that  capacity  I  met  a  gentleman  living 
in  town,  a  Mr.  John  Fulton,  who  was  a  circus  man. 
As  we  got  acquainted  sitting  around  the  oflSce  stove 
evenings,  I  made  inquiries  about  the  circus  business, 
its  opportunities  for  money-making,  etc.  His  answers 
struck  me  favorably;  in  fact,  very  favorably.  After 
listening  to  him  a  few  times,  I  was  so  favorably 
impressed  that  I  informed  him  I  wanted  to  be  a  circus 
man  and  inquired  as  to  what  amount  of  capital  would 
be  necessary  for  me  to  take  an  interest  with  him.  He 
asked  me  if  I  had  five  hundred  dollars.  I  told  him 
no,  but  I  would  try  to  borrow  it,  which  I  did,  becoming 
a  half  partner  in  the  side  show  with  Hemmings, 
Cooper  &  Whitby's  Circus  and  Menagerie,  which  had 
already  started  out  for  the  season  from  Louisville, 
Kentucky,  April,  1870. 

Mr.  Fulton  took  my  five  hundred  dollars  and  bought 
the  outfit  of  H.  Norman,  who  was  to  have  gone  with 
the  show,  but  who  changed  his  mind,  associating 
himself  with  the  James  Robinson  Circus. 

We  joined  the  circus  at  Paris,  Kentucky.  I  drove 
on  to  the  show  lot  and  proceeded  to  put  up  the  tent 
for  the  side  show  and  unloaded  the  wagons.  I  had 
never  been  to  a  circus  or  side  show  in  my  life,  so  you 
can  readily  understand  that  these  things  were  new 
to  me.  Attending  to  horses,  cooking  for  the  people, 
putting  up  and  taking  down  the  tent,  was  much  like 
army  life,  so  I  was  at  home  in  a  way.    The  first  man 


to  come  to  me  on  the  show  lot  was  Mr.  James  A. 
Bailey,  who  proffered  his  advice  and  good  will, 
insisting  on  my  calling  on  him  for  any  information  or 
assistance  that  I  might  need.  This  acquaintance 
ripened  into  an  association  and  friendship  that  lasted 
through  his  life. 

The  outfit  that  we  got  from  Mr.  Norman  looked 
anything  but  prosperous.  When  I  say  that  the  four 
horses  had  one  eye,  I  speak  the  truth.  One  eye  in  four 
horses,  think  of  it !  The  wagons  and  harness  were  in  a 
dilapidated  condition,  the  tent  full  of  patches  and 
ropes  full  of  knots.  The  only  thing  in  this  outfit 
for  my  five  hundred  dollars  was  the  opportunity  to 
make  money. 

The  tents  were  up,  I  had  food  for  the  horses,  and 
back  of  the  side  show  I  was  cooking  breakfast  for  the 
side  show  people,  when  I  was  approached  by  a  gentle- 
man who  informed  me  that  he  was  Mr.  Cooper. 
I  introduced  myself,  stating  that  I  had  bought  Mr. 
Norman  out.  He  in  return  said  that  Mr.  Norman 
bad  no  rifiht  to  sell  to  us.  We  discussed  the  matter 
and  left  each  other  with  the  understanding  that  we 
would  settle  it  another  time.  On  leaving  he  said: 
"I  do  not  want  you  to  keep  your  horses  on  the  show 
lot;  they  don't  look  well  and  you  might  get  the  habit 
of  giving  them  our  feed." 

I  could  appreciate  the  remark  fully,  as  to  the  show 
our  horses  would  make,  but  I  would  hardly  have 


slipped  them  his  hay.  So  here  in  Paris,  Kentucky, 
(Paris  is  in  Bourbon  County,  Kentucky,  where  the 
Bourbon  whiskey  gets  its  name.  The  excuse  I  once 
heard  made  why  the  town  remained  small  was  that 
the  ground  was  too  valuable  to  build  on),  was  my 
first  introduction  to  the  show  business,  as  well  as 
my  first  dollar  in  this  business.  We  were  routed 
through  Kentucky  in  every  county,  showing  each  day, 
usually  at  the  county  seats. 

I  found  this  business  congenial  and  the  opportuni- 
ties for  making  money  looked  good  to  me  in  my  new 

My  army  life  had  a  great  deal  to  do  with  my  being 
able  to  adapt  myself  so  readily  to  the  inconveniences 
and  emergencies  to  overcome  in  this  life.  I  took  to  it 
like  a  young  duck  to  a  pond. 

I  was  so  well  contented  for  the  forty- two  years  that 
I  followed  this  business  that  I  did  not  look  for  another. 
This  is  surprising,  considering  that  up  to  the  time 
I  bought  into  this  side  show  I  had  never  visited  one. 
Some  of  my  friends  had  misgivings  as  to  my  venture 
remarking  that  I  would  not  find  the  people  in  it  to 
my  liking.  On  the  contrary,  I  found  them  honorable 
men  in  all  transactions,  their  word  being  as  good  as  a 
bond,  and  first  class,  reliable  business  men. 

Leaving  Kentucky  we  crossed  the  Ohio  river,  and 
our  route  took  us  through  Indiana,  Illinois  and  into 
Missouri,  showing  in  St.  Louis  the  first  week  of  July. 


I  remember  this  very  well,  as  the  great  race  of  the 
steamboats  Robert  E.  Lee  and  Natchez  was  finished 
at  St.  Louis  at  this  time,  the  Robert  E.  Lee  winning. 
The  crowd  was  so  great  at  the  levee  to  see  the  finish 
that  our  tents  were  deserted  that  day.  We  moved 
on  up  into  Iowa  and  Minnesota,  then  down  through 
Arkansas  and  Louisiana.  Unfortunately,  while  at 
Rayville,  Louisiana,  Mr.  Whitby,  while  taking  tickets 
at  the  door,  was  shot,  getting  into  a  dispute  with  a 
desperado,  who  insisted  on  passing  without  a  ticket. 
It  was  a  most  wilful  murder.  This  was  a  very  sad 
affair  and  cast  a  gloom  over  the  party,  or  circus 

The  show  moved  on,  crossing  the  Mississippi  river 
to  Vicksburg,  Mississippi.  We  made  a  few  more 
stands,  closing  at  Okalona,  Mississippi,  for  the  season, 
shipping  the  outfit  to  Louisville,  Kentucky,  where  it 
wintered.  Madame  Lake,  of  Cincinnati,  was  starting 
a  show  and  I  made  arrangements  to  take  the  concert 
and  side  show  with  her.  We  put  in  the  winter  showing 
in  the  South,  getting  as  far  as  Florida,  closing  a 
fairly  successful  season. 

With  arrangements  for  the  next  season,  we  routed 
through  the  West,  around  Denver,  Colorado,  taking 
in  the  gold  and  silver  mining  towns;  then  into  Utah, 
where  we  were  the  first  circus  to  show,  the  price  being 
one  dollar,  with  side  show  and  concert  fifty  cents. 
While  here  Brigham  Young  attended  the  circus.    We 


had  a  very  pleasant  chat  together  and  I  found  him  a 
highly  intelligent  old  gentleman  who  had  come  into 
this  desert  and  accomplished  wonders. 

We  left  our  railroad  cars  at  Salt  Lake  City,  putting 
the  outfit  on  hired  wagons,  and  toured  the  small 
towns  around  to  a  very  satisfactory  business.  Work- 
ing back  toward  home  we  closed  the  season  at 

Mr.  Bailey,  Mr.  Cooper  and  Mr.  Hemmings  were 
anxious  to  have  me  with  them  again,  so  I  arranged  to 
go  with  them.  I  was  very  glad  to  return,  as  it  seemed 
more  like  home  to  me.  Mr.  Bailey  took  an  interest 
with  me  in  the  concert  side  show  and  candy  stands. 
We  started  from  Hillsboro,  Ohio,  by  wagon.  It 
rained  incessantly  for  weeks.  We  were  discouraged 
and  in  financial  difficulties.  The  roads  were  so 
muddy  and  heavy  that  we  lost  a  great  many  stands, 
which  meant  paying  out  money  without  taking  in  a 

A  funny  incident  occurred  here.  I  always  kept 
my  wagons  ahead  of  me,  driving  in  the  rear  alone. 
Arriving  at  a  toll  gate  in  charge  of  a  German  who 
could  speak  a  very  little  English,  he  informed  me  that 
he  had  a  "ledder  bolise".  We  could  not  make  this 
out,  but  after  a  while  he  showed  us  that  he  had  a 
leather  valise  that  one  of  the  men  had  left  in  pawn  for 
the  toll.  I  hustled  for  some  small  change  to  pay  the 
toll,  taking  the  "ledder  bolise"  out  of  pawn. 


It  looked  as  if  the  rainy  season  would  never  be 
over,  it  lasting  about  six  weeks.  We  traveled  through 
the  West  and  got  through  Indiana  into  Ilhnois,  when 
business  began  picking  up.  We  had  good  business 
through  Iowa,  Kansas  and  Nebraska,  when  we 
decided  to  go  south  again.  Everything  was  going  on 
very  nicely  when  the  epizootic  broke  out  among  our 
horses,  as  it  did  among  the  stock  all  over  the  country. 
We  crossed  the  Mississippi  at  Natchez  and  closed  the 
season.  I  went  to  New  Orleans  and  arranged  with 
Captain  Neil  to  take  us  on  his  steamboat,  the  Indiana, 
up  to  Louisville,  where  we  wintered. 

We  started  the  next  season,  opening  in  the  Exposi- 
tion building  in  Louisville,  where  the  post  office  now 
stands.  This  season,  besides  running  the  side  show 
and  concert  and  candy  stands,  I  contracted  with  the 
company  to  feed  their  men  in  camp  and  got  along 
pretty  well.  Sometimes  it  was  quite  a  wait  between 
meals,  but  it  was  a  case  of  the  whole  outfit  being  late 
and  no  one  to  blame. 

Mr.  Cooper  said  to  me  one  day,  "Middleton,  it 
looks  a^  if  you  would  run  out  of  soup  for  the  men." 
I  repUed,  "There  is  no  danger  of  that."  He  said, 
"What  will  you  do?"  I  answered,  "We  will  put  a 
little  more  salt  in  it,  then  they  won't  eat  so  much  as 
they  won't  like  it  so  well." 

We  took  the  Kentucky  country  first,  as  the  tobacco 
crop  selling  at  about  this  time  of  the  year  always  made 


money  quite  plentiful  in  the  tobacco  country.  One  of 
the  features  with  the  show  this  year  was  the  CardiflF 
Giant,  the  discovery  of  whom  about  this  time  caused 
great  excitement.  While  there  was  only  one  genuine 
Cardiff  Giant,  three  or  four  different  circuses  claimed 
to  have  one,  which  will  give  you  an  idea  of  how 
enterprising  the  managements  were.  We  also  had  a 
whale  stuffed  and  mounted,  which  gave  us  much 
trouble,  as  it  required  a  long,  coupled  wagon,  and  the 
roads  being  poor,  it  was  a  pretty  hard  proposition  to 
get  over  them. 

I  had  a  long,  covered  passenger  wagon  in  which  I 
carried  curiosities  that  belonged  to  the  side  show.  As 
the  horses  went  trotting  along  one  morning,  one  of  the 
front  wheels  struck  a  root  and  over  the  wagon  went, 
the  bows  of  the  top  splintered  and  the  hair  on  the  fat 
woman's  head  tangled  in  the  splintered  bows.  We 
also  had  a  basket  of  eggs  which  we  intended  to  cook 
when  we  reached  town,  but  by  the  time  we  got  the  fat 
woman  untangled  and  out  there  was  quite  a  mess  of 
eggs,  splinters  and  hair. 

We  also  had  a  snake  case,  in  which  we  carried 
several  large  boa  constrictors,  which  we  used  also  for  a 
seat.  That  toppled  over,  the  glass  was  broken  and  the 
snakes  were  in  a  mix-up. 

I  remember  on  the  show  grounds  one  day  when  we 
first  drove  in  (I  think  it  was  in  Bairdstown,  Ken- 
tucky), we  ran  across  a  grass  snake  which  must  have 


had  thirty  or  forty  young  ones,  not  more  than  an 
inch  or  an  inch  and  a  half  long.  On  our  appearance 
the  mother  snake  opened  her  mouth  and  every  one  of 
the  little  ones  ran  down  her  throat. 

It  was  always  a  curious  thing  to  me  that  in  taking 
the  curiosities,  the  fat  woman,  the  Albinos,  the  mid- 
gets and  the  Circassians,  from  the  wagons,  when  they 
would  have  to  walk  two  hundred  yards  over  to  the 
tent,  exposed  to  the  view  of  hundreds  of  people,  these 
same  people  would  go  right  up  to  the  ticket  seller,  pay 
their  money  and  go  in  to  see  the  same  curiosities  that 
had  just  passed  before  them. 

It  was  now  about  the  Fourth  of  July  and  in  Mat- 
toon,  Illinois,  there  was  to  be  a  fireworks  display 
given  by  the  citizens.  The  time  set  for  setting  them 
off  would  interfere  very  much  with  the  time  for  giving 
our  show,  so  we  arranged  by  giving  them  fifty  dollars 
with  which  to  buy  more  fireworks,  and  set  them  off 
after  the  circus  was  over  at  night.  This  made  it 
agreeable  all  around  and  I  was  delegated  to  attend  to 
the  display.  The  most  fireworks  I  had  ever  fired  off 
before  was  a  simple  fire  cracker,  but  I  undertook  the 
job.  As  was  often  the  case,  we  had  some  temporary 
lemonade  stands  on  the  grounds  with  just  loose 
boards  spread  over  the  top  for  shade.  I  had  all  the 
fireworks  placed  on  top  of  one  of  these  roofs  and 
started  the  display.  I  took  up  a  large  sky  rocket, 
leaned  it  up  against  a  pole  I  had  placed  and  set  the 


fire  to  it.  It  commenced  to  sputter  fire  and  flames 
among  the  fireworks  on  the  roof,  and  the  first  thing  I 
knew  everything  was  ablaze — the  rockets,  Roman 
candles  and  all  the  different  articles  they  had  in  those 
days,  were  shooting  off  into  the  audience  in  every 
direction.  Down  below  some  of  the  men  were  selling 
lemonade  and  to  protect  themselves  they  gathered  up 
some  wet  gunny  sacks  which  they  had  to  cover  the 
ice,  and  put  them  over  their  heads  to  keep  from 
burning  to  death.  On  the  whole,  the  display  was  a 
failure,  or  at  least,  I  was  in  taking  charge  of  it. 




We  used  to  have  lots  of  amusement  in  those  days. 
We  had  a  large  elephant  called  "Babe".  In  travelling 
over  the  road  Babe  got  wise  to  the  fact  that  the  people 
in  these  dead  ox  wagons  going  to  the  circus  carried 
their  lunches  with  them,  so  she  would  invariably 
overtake  the  wagons,  and  with  her  trunk  reach  over 
the  rear  end  and  investigate  the  baskets  and  their 
contents.  Frequently  she  would  have  the  bread  and 
pie  and  everything  of  that  kind  eaten  before  she 
would  be  noticed  by  those  sitting  in  the  front  seat. 
Even  if  she  were  noticed  they  would  always  scramble 
forward  and  offer  no  opposition  to  her  taking  full 
possession  of  everything  in  the  wagon,  they  being 
frightened  nearly  out  of  their  wits.  The  colored  boy 
who  had  charge  of  her  and  drove  her  over  the  road 
was  nicknamed  "Shoo  Fly".  When  traveling  he 
would  often  meet  some  adventurous  fellow,  or  some 
one  half  tipsy  who  would  want  a  ride  on  the  elephant 
going  toward  town.  After  a  little  bartering,  if  he 
couldn't  get  half  a  dollar  he  would  take  a  quarter  for 
the  fare.  As  a  rule  the  elephant  was  very  nice  and 
quiet  about  it  and  would  carry  his  passenger  along 
safely,  but  just  as  soon  as  she  would  come  to  an  open 
woods  where  there  was  no  fence,  she  would  dart  under 


the  trees  and  very  soon  come  across  a  limb  strong 
enough  to  brush  him  off.  She  would  then  return  to  the 
road  and  the  rider  was  generally  well  satisfied  as 
far  as  he  had  gone,  and  without  desire  for  any  more 
of  it. 

I  never  got  familiar  with  an  elephant,  as  I  always 
was  in  fear  of  them.  I  remember  in  Valparaiso, 
South  America,  where  we  were  showing,  I  sent  a  boy 
for  a  bucket  of  water  and  cautioned  him  to  go  around 
the  elephants.  In  coming  back  with  a  bucketful 
he  made  one  trip  successfully,  and  it  struck  me  that 
one  of  the  elephants  said,  "Now,  when  he  comes 
through  again,  you  grab  the  bucket  and  I'll  smash 
him  and  we'll  get  the  bucket  of  water."  The  boy  felt 
encouraged  at  getting  through  the  first  time  without 
any  trouble,  but  when  he  came  along  the  next  time 
one  elephant  reached  over  and  took  the  bucket, 
while  another  elephant  struck  him  in  the  face  with  his 
trunk.  Of  course,  he  left  them  in  possession  of  the 
bucket  of  water. 

Going  south  we  encountered  some  very  bad  roads 
as  well  as  very  bad  weather.  We  lightened  up  our 
loads  by  throwing  away  a  great  deal  of  our  stuff,  and 
missed  lots  of  our  shows.  We  had  a  monkey  by  the 
name  of  "Jeff",  a  great  big  fine  fellow,  not  trained  at 
all.  After  the  afternoon  show  we  would  hitch  up  and 
go  as  far  as  we  could  before  dark,  then  stop,  build  a 
fire  and  sit  around  it  a  while.     Jeff  would  be  cold, 


so  we  would  bring  him  out  of  his  cage  and  put  him  on  a 
box  or  barrel,  where  he  would  sit  looking  as  wise  as 
if  he  could  speak.  He  was  as  gentle  and  docile  as  one 
could  wish.  We  would  have  him  put  both  hands  on 
his  head,  or  put  both  hands  on  his  neck,  or  sit  with 
his  face  in  his  hands.  No  matter  what  position  we 
placed  him  in,  he  would  remain  there  as  long  as  we 
would  let  him  sit  by  the  fire  with  us.  But  take  him 
away  from  the  fire,  and  we  could  do  nothing  with 

I  remember  a  trained  monkey  we  had  called  "Pete." 
We  used  to  put  him  on  quite  a  high  pedestal  so  the 
audience  could  see  him,  but  always  confined  with  a 
chain.  We  would  put  a  pipe  in  his  mouth,  a  pair  of 
spectacles  over  his  eyes  and  give  him  a  tin  fiddle  and 
a  bow.  On  some  days  he  was  very  docile,  on  other 
days  he  would  fight,  and  he  would  fight  hard.  I 
remember  a  boy  we  had  by  the  name  of  "Jake" 
Reilly.  We  were  showing  at  Allentown,  Pennsyl- 
vania, on  the  Fourth  of  July.  Before  we  opened 
Reilly  had  celebrated  a  little  by  taking  a  few  drinks. 
He  was  dressed  in  a  white  linen  suit.  We  had  pitched 
our  tents  right  next  to  a  coal  dump,  from  which  the 
rain  had  washed  down  like  ink.  Pete  must  have 
known  that  Reilly  was  half  full,  for  about  the  second 
trick  that  Reilly  wanted  him  to  do  Pete  made  a  jump 
for  him  and  they  had  it  out  right  there;  first  one  on 
top  and  then  the  other.     When  they  got  through 


Reilly  looked  as  though  he  had  been  rolled  in  an  ink 

Prof.  James  Howell,  who  was  quite  a  trainer  of 
animals,  was  with  me  for  several  seasons.  This 
particular  season  he  had  an  educated  pig.  I  always 
insisted  on  his  having  a  small  pig,  because  every 
pound  of  weight  we  could  save  going  over  the  road 
meant  a  great  deal,  and  we  utilized  the  pig's  box  for  a 
seat.  Naturally,  he  had  to  have  some  bars  in  it  so 
the  pig  could  get  plenty  of  air.  A  Mrs.  Berriman,  the 
mother  of  two  nice  Albino  boys  that  I  had  in  the  side 
show,  was  always  playing  tricks  on  Howell.  On  one 
occasion  while  riding  over  the  road  they  were  eating 
some  lunch  as  they  went  along  and  at  every  oppor- 
tunity Mrs.  Berriman  would  slip  the  pig  some  lunch. 
The  consequence  was  that  when  we  reached  town  and 
Howell  had  made  his  grand  speech  about  the  wonderful 
pig,  his  intelligence,  how  he  could  tell  the  time  of  day, 
how  he  could  multiply,  subtract  and  divide,  doing  all 
these  wonderful  things  by  card,  and  commenced  by 
asking  him  the  time  of  day,  the  pig  just  looked  at  him 
and  grunted  "Oofi!"  And  when  Howell  would  throw 
down  a  card  of  course  the  pig  would  not  notice  it  but 
would  only  repeat  his  "Ooff!"  So  the  performance 
wound  up  by  being  a  great  failure.  The  reason  the 
pig  was  a  failure  that  day  was  that  Mrs.  Berriman 
had  stuffed  him  so  full  that  he  wouldn't  work,  and 
Howell  had  to  rack  his  brain  to  find  out  what  was  the 


matter  by  rehearsing  him  again  and  again.  The  truth 
is  that  pigs  nor  any  other  animals  will  not  work  unless 
they  are  hungry.  I  sometimes  think  this  is  the  case 
with  a  great  many  people,  too. 

I  often  look  back  and  laugh  at  my  first  experience 
with  snakes.  We  wanted  a  snake  charmer,  so  Fulton 
sent  up  to  Indiana  and  brought  a  little  girl  on  to  the 
show  to  charm  the  snakes.  We  got  hold  of  a  few 
garter  snakes  about  three  feet  long,  sent  off  to  Tucker 
Brothers,  the  painters  in  New  York,  and  had  them 
get  up  a  painting  representing  a  lady  handling  these 
monster  reptiles,  which  on  the  canvas  looked  as  though 
they  were  fifteen  or  twenty  feet  long.  Fulton  would 
do  what  we  called  "talking"  in  those  days;  they 
call  them  "speilers"  or  "barkers"  now.  But  he 
would  stand  and  harangue  the  crowd,  informing  them 
that  they  were  "just  in  time  to  see  this  brave  little 
woman  risk  her  life  by  entering  the  iron-bound  den 
containing  these  monster  reptiles,"  All  the  iron- 
bound  den  there  was  consisted  of  nothing  more  nor 
less  than  an  ordinary  soap  box.  She  would  swing  the 
lid  around,  dip  down  into  the  box,  pick  up  two  or 
three  of  these  gentle  snakes,  let  them  wiggle  around, 
and  that  ended  the  snake  performance. 

After  a  while  we  sent  to  New  York  and  brought  out 
some  South  American  and  Brazilian  snakes,  which 
were  not  dangerous,  but  which  were  generally  a  good 
show.    There  is  an  old  expression,  "  I  guess  so  and  so  is 


living  on  the  fat  of  his  stomach",  and  I  think  that  is 
the  case  with  snakes.  I  have  had  them  live  a  year 
without  a  mouthful  to  eat.  Snakes  go  blind  once  a 
month,  at  which  time  they  will  shed  their  skin,  start- 
ing at  the  nose,  blow  it  off  the  head  and  crawl  out  of  it. 
I  never  knew  a  snake  to  eat  anything  that  it  did  not 
kill  itself.  A  snake  can  eat  animals  much  larger  than 
its  own  body.  Their  jaws  seem  to  unlock  until  they 
are  as  large  as  the  body.  They  first  catch  the  prey, 
a  chicken,  guinea  pig  or  a  rabbit,  then  as  it  works 
down  through  the  jaws  it  is  covered  with  saliva. 
After  the  food  gets  beyond  the  jaws  the  snake  throws  a 
knot  between  the  food  and  its  jaws,  then  crawls  through 
the  knot  until  it  locates  what  it  has  eaten  in  the  stomach. 

In  moving  a  show  the  very  heavy  wagons  would 
leave  first,  then  the  animal  wagons  and  the  per- 
formers, the  proprietors  leaving  last,  the  lighter  teams 
enabling  them  to  get  over  the  ground  faster,  some- 
times overtaking  the  heavy  wagons.  I  remember 
Mr.  Cooper  was  very  indignant  when  he  landed  in 
town  one  morning  and  a  young  lady  stopped  him  as 
he  was  going  along  the  road  with  his  family,  and 
informed  him  that  her  friend  owned  the  show  and 
that  there  had  been  some  mistake,  as  she  had  been 
left  behind.  Mr.  Cooper  asked  her  what  her  friend's 
name  was  and  she  replied,  "Mr.  Cooper."  Mr. 
Cooper  was  quite  angry  but  he  could  never  find  out 
who  it  was  had  given  out  his  name. 



It  is  strange  how  men  will  drift  into  diflFerent  kinds 
of  business.  Mr.  Cooper  was  a  horse  man,  and  made 
a  contract  with  Gardner  and  Hemming  to  haul  their 
show  through  the  country,  which  marked  his  entry 
into  the  circus  business. 

Mr.  Forepaugh's  was  a  similar  experience.  By  the 
way,  Mr.  Forepaugh  was  the  first  man  to  place  the 
animals  and  circus  in  separate  tents.  Mr.  Wallace, 
of  Wallace  Circus  of  the  present  time,  was  a  livery 
stable  man.  Sells  Brothers  had  a  "Yankee  Notion" 
wagon  and  traveled  from  town  to  town  with  Hemming 
and  Cooper's  circus,  opening  up  their  wagon  in  the 
town  square  and  selling  their  goods.  After  two  years 
they  started  a  show  of  their  own,  which  passed  out  of 
existence  at  their  death. 

Ringling  Brothers,  owning  the  largest  show  of  the 
present  day,  started  in  a  modest  way  and  have  been 
very  successful,  owning  the  Ringling  show,  the 
Barnum  and  Bailey  show  and  a  large  interest  in  the 
Buffalo  Bill  show  and  Sells  and  Forepaugh  show. 
Mr.  Kohl  always  told  John  Ringling  that  they  did 
not  advertise  their  best  feature;  that  be  considered 
any  five  brothers  that  could  get  along  without  quar- 


relling  was  the  greatest  feature  about  the  show;  which 
is  surely  true. 

Of  all  the  old  time  circus  men  that  I  once  knew, 
all  have  passed  away  except  W.  W.  Cole,  who  is 
living  in  retirement  in  New  York  with  plenty  of  this 
world's  goods  to  keep  him  comfortable. 

I  think  the  greatest  rider  that  the  world  has 
ever  produced  was  James  Robinson.  When  he 
walked  in  the  ring  to  begin  his  act,  with  whip  in  hand, 
and  jumped  on  the  back  of  his  bare-backed  horse 
one  was  impressed  at  that  minute  that  he  was  "it". 
He  had  that  style  and  grace  and  finish  to  his  act  that 
no  one  else  ever  had  that  I  have  seen  or  heard  of. 

It  was  the  same  with  Blondin,  the  tight  rope  walker 
who  crossed  Niagara  Falls  on  a  tight  rope  years  ago. 
I  have  seen  nearly  all  the  tight  rope  walkers,  but  there 
was  only  one  great  artist — he  was  Blondin. 

James  A.  Bailey  was  a  remarkable  man,  the  greatest 
tent  showman  that  ever  lived.  His  proper  name  was 
McGinnis.  He  was  a  bell  boy  in  a  small  hotel  in 
Detroit  at  the  beginning  of  the  war.  Colonel  Fred 
Bailey  was  the  General  Agent  of  William  Lake's 
circus  at  that  time.  Their  route  took  them  through 
Detroit.  In  those  days  the  agent  traveled  with  a 
horse  and  buggy,  and  one  wagon  followed  carrying 
the  pictorial  papers  to  be  posted  as  they  went  along. 
(Now-a-days  it  requires  three  separate  cars.)  Their 
route    took    them    through    Detroit,    when    young 


McGinnis  made  application  to  Colonel  Bailey  to  take 
him  along.  Fred  Bailey  was  accompanied  by  an 
assistant  by  the  name  of  Stephens.  The  only  place 
they  had  where  young  McGinnis  could  ride  was  on 
the  water  bucket  between  their  legs  in  the  buggy,  and 
away  they  went.  Stephens  did  not  Uke  the  idea  of 
bothering  with  young  McGinnis,  or  Bailey  as  we 
shall  now  call  him,  and  wished  Colonel  Bailey  to  send 
him  back  to  Detroit,  but  he  would  not  listen  to  it, 
and  said:  "I  am  going  to  make  an  agent  of  this  boy." 
After  the  season  was  over  they  wintered  in  Zanesville, 
Ohio,  and  Colonel  Bailey  lived  down  at  Cincinnati. 
Having  business  up  at  Zanesville  where  the  show  was 
in  winter  quarters,  he  went  up  there  and  found 
Jimmie,  as  he  called  him,  learning  to  be  a  circus  rider. 
He  immediately  took  him  to  Cincinnati,  as  he  did 
not  wish  him  to  be  a  circus  performer.  In  the  whirli- 
gig of  time  young  Bailey  became  a  regular  agent. 
He  told  me  his  ambition  was  to  receive  more  salary 
than  any  other  agent  ever  did,  which  ambition  was 
realized.  Then  he  had  an  ambition  to  become  a 
proprietor  and  bought  an  interest  in  the  Cooper  and 
Bailey  show.  In  1876  he  started  the  show  for  the 
West,  and  along  in  the  middle  of  the  summer  decided 
to  take  the  show  to  Australia,  something  never  heard 
of  before.  He  made  arrangements  to  ship  the  circus 
and  menagerie  to  Australia  and  on  the  3rd  of  Novem- 
ber,  1876,  we  sailed  for  Australia  on  the  steamer 


"City  of  Sydney,"  from  San  Francisco.  We  landed 
at  Sydney,  went  to  Melbourne,  Adelaide,  Brisbane, 
and  from  there  back  to  Sydney.  Bailey  left  for 
America  and  the  show  started  for  India  by  the  way 
of  Java,  with  me  in  charge.  While  I  was  in  Batavia 
Bailey  cabled  me  to  return  to  Australia  with  the 
show,  which  I  did.  We  showed  there  again,  in  Tas- 
mania and  in  New  Zealand.  Chartering  a  sailing 
vessel  there,  we  sailed  for  Peru,  South  America, 
landing  at  Callao.  From  there  we  went  up  to  Lima, 
then  back  down  to  Valparaiso,  Santiago,  Montevideo, 
Buenos  Ayres,  and  around  through  the  Straits  up 
the  east  coast  of  South  America  to  New  York,  having 
been  gone  two  years.  We  all  landed  back  home 

I  wish  to  mention  here  our  experience  in  shipping 
stock.  On  leaving  San  Francisco  we  had  very  strong 
iron-bound  boxes  built  for  our  horses,  strong  enough 
to  lower  into  the  hold  of  the  vessel,  and  each  horse 
was  kept  in  his  box  until  we  arrived  in  Australia. 
Afterward,  instead  of  carrying  these  large  separate 
boxes,  we  built  stalls  on  board  the  vessel;  later  we 
only  lashed  poles  between  them,  and  finally,  coming 
from  Buenos  Ayres  to  New  York,  we  only  covered  the 
ballast  in  the  hold  with  dirt  and  turned  the  stock 
loose  down  there,  just  the  same  as  if  they  were  in 
pasture,  and  they  all  came  out  without  a  scratch. 

One   day    when   we   were   sailing   along   quietly, 


every  one  taking  his  ease,  a  darkey  came  running  up 
from  the  hold  saying:  "Master,  is  it  all  right;  those 
varmints  running  loose  down  there?"  They  couldn't 
understand  what  he  meant,  but  come  to  find  out,  one 
of  the  tigers  had  gotten  out.  The  darkey  had  turned 
pretty  nearly  white,  he  was  so  frightened. 

After  landing  in  America,  James  Reiley,  the  printer 
in  New  York,  since  dead,  offered  to  sell  Bailey  what 
was  then  called  the  "Howe's  London  Show",  but  an 
agreement  was  made  whereby  they  consolidated  that 
show  with  the  few  wagons,  horses  and  traps  that  we 
had  left  from  our  South  American  season,  and  they 
started  out  upon  a  very  successful  season.  I  did  not 
go  with  them  that  season.  Friends  of  Bailey  saw  an 
opportunity  for  a  greater  consolidation,  and  they 
consolidated  Barnum's  shows  with  these  shows, 
which  venture  proved  a  great  success.  Fortunately, 
an  event  occurred  that  only  happens  once  in  a  life- 
time— the  birth  of  a  baby  elephant,  which  was  a 
great  feature.  Previous  to  this,  Bailey  had  told  me 
that  if  he  ever  got  hold  of  Barnum's  name  there  would 
never  be  a  tent  made  large  enough  to  hold  the  people, 
and  when  he  did  his  words  were  made  true. 

He  was  the  most  untiring  man  I  ever  knew,  and  as 
honest  as  the  day  was  long.  I  often  thought  he  would 
retire,  and  his  health  at  one  time  did  compel  him  to 
do  so  for  one  season,  but  he  became  restless  and  soon 
decided  to  go  back  into  the  business  again.    He  often 


told  me  he  would  never  try  to  retire  again,  but  would 
die  in  the  harness,  which  he  did  at  too  early  an  age. 

I  cannot  make  a  better  comparison  than  to  say 
that  anything  Bailey  put  out  in  the  way  of  wardrobes 
was  of  silks  and  satins,  while  other  men  used  turkey 
red  and  calico.  He  engaged  the  best  men  that  the 
country  offered  at  the  heads  of  every  department. 
He  bought  Jumbo,  and  while  Jumbo  was  a  great 
elephant  and  a  great  card,  he  was  made  so  by  accident, 
which  shows  how  some  men  are  fortunate.  It  was 
only  the  excitement  worked  up  in  England  when 
they  were  taking  him  from  the  country  which  made 
him  such  a  famous  animal.  After  they  brought  him 
to  this  country  Bailey,  of  course,  took  advantage  of 
the  incident  and  made  the  most  of  it.  It  is  a  pity 
that  such  a  man  died  so  young.  He  had  just  finished 
a  beautiful  home,  on  forty  acres,  at  Mount  Vernon, 
New  York,  and  had  everything  the  heart  could 

Dan.  Rice  was  a  circus  character  that  I  knew. 
Everybody  in  those  days  knew  of  Dan.  Rice  and  his 
one  horse  show.  He  played  ring  master  and  clown, 
performed,  trained  horses,  and  was  as  well  able  to 
protect  himself  in  a  personal  encounter  as  any  man 
I  ever  knew.  I  remember  Mr.  Cooper  sending  him  a 
telegram  one  year,  offering  him  five  hundred  dollars 
a  week  to  go  with  his  show  and  play  clown.  His 
answer  was  that  the  amount  would  not  keep  him  in 


whiskey.  His  great  country  was  up  and  down  the 
Ohio  and  Mississippi  rivers,  with  what  they  called 
"Steamboat  shows". 

John  O'Brien  was  a  queer  character  and  owned  a 
very  large  show  at  one  time.  Some  seasons  he  had 
two  or  three  different  shows  on  the  road.  I  remember 
one  Sunday  when  we  were  in  Philadelphia,  we  went 
up  to  Frankford  where  Mr.  O'Brien  lived,  and  his 
first  salutation  to  Mr.  Cooper  was,  "  How  is  that 
'round  the  corner  grocery  circus  of  yours?"  He  had 
a  very  attractive  daughter  and  to  his  great  disappoint- 
ment she  married  Walter  Stuart,  who  was  in  the  side 
show,  having  neither  arms  nor  legs.  One  season  he 
had  three  different  shows  out  with  names  unknown 
in  the  show  business.  I  asked  him  where  he  found 
the  names.  He  replied  they  were  copied  off  of  tomb- 
stones, so  he  would  not  be  bothered  by  the  people 
he  named  them  after. 

Adam  Forepaugh  was  a  fine  man  who  had  been  in 
the  butchering  business.  He  got  the  circus  fever  and 
started  the  finest  show  of  that  day,  became  very 
successful  and  accumulated  a  fortune.  I  will  never 
forget  a  funny  incident  that  happened  in  the  cook 
tent.  Clarence  Farrell  was  his  treasurer.  Mrs. 
Brown  had  a  daughter  named  Molly,  who  was  the 
star  rider  with  the  Forepaugh  circus.  The  old  lady 
not  wishing  to  lose  her  meal  ticket,  noticed  that  she 
and  Farrell  were  getting  very  much  in  love  with  each 


other,  and  one  day  while  at  dinner,  in  the  cook  tent, 
the  old  lady  and  Farrell  began  cross  firing  at  each 
other,  or,  to  use  a  slang  expression,  getting  back  at  each 
other  with  hot  words,  with  Mr.  Forepaugh  sitting  there 
enjoying  it  very  much.  Finally,  they  began  throwing 
plates  at  each  other,  when  Mr.  Forepaugh  thought  it 
was  time  for  him  to  say  something,  so  he  called  out, 

"  Here,  this  thing  has  gone  far  enough,  by ,  these 

dishes  cost  money."  When  they  commenced  destroy- 
ing his  property  he  did  not  see  so  much  fun  in  it. 

Mr.  Forepaugh  could  never  forget  that  he  was  a 
butcher.  Whenever  he  arrived  in  a  town  he  would 
get  into  a  buggy  and  make  for  the  meat  market,  where 
his  meat  was  contracted  for,  and  get  it  up  on  the 
ground.  Then,  instead  of  paying  any  attention  to  the 
tents  with  the  wagons  or  animals,  he  would  get  his 
knife  and  saw  and  go  to  cutting  up  the  meat.  It 
gave  him  more  pleasure  than  anything  else.  He 
would  say  some  very  funny  things.  In  Syracuse  one 
day  when  the  business  was  very  dull,  the  dead  head 
tickets  seemed  to  come  in  very  fast,  and  he  would  take 
them  in  and  tear  them  up  savagely.  Dan  Taylor,  the 
boss  canvas  man  said:    "Mr.  Forepaugh,  don't  we 

want  some  sawdust?"    Mr.  Forepaugh  said :  " By ! 

No !    We  will  use  these  torn  tickets  for  sawdust." 



I  remember  one  afternoon  down  at  Texarkana  when 
the  circus  let  out,  two  darkeys  passing  along  the  bill- 
board looking  at  the  circus  posters,  one  remarked  "I 
did  not  see  that",  naming  several  pictures  he  did  not 
see,  when  his  companion  said  how  could  he  expect  to 
see  it  all  in  one  afternoon.  That  he  would  have  to  go 
along  a  week  to  see  it  all. 

Getting  out  of  Louisville  one  spring  we  were  very 
short  of  funds  and  considerably  worried  how  to  meet 
our  bills,  hotel  accounts,  also  for  feed,  tents  and  lots 
of  odds  and  ends.  I  told  my  partner  we  would  have 
to  appoint  ourselves  a  Committee  of  Ways  and  Means. 
So  we  started  around.  The  first  we  got  to  was  the 
stable  man  and  we  began  making  excuses,  paying 
out  money  all  winter,  none  coming  in,  and  would  he 
be  kind  enough  to  wait  for  his  money  until  we  were 
out  a  couple  of  weeks?  He  said,  yes,  etc.  Then  on 
to  the  next  creditor  and  it  was  all  right.  From  this 
on  we  got  brave  and  went  to  others  and  told  them  we 
would  not  pay  them  for  two  weeks,  never  asking  them 
if  it  was  agreeable.  So  in  a  few  weeks  we  were  all 
paid  up  and  out  of  debt. 

While  traveling  through  Kentucky  about  my  second 
season,  I  found  it  was  considered  good  business  to 


have  a  bank  roll  in  case  of  emergency,  as  I  had  quite 
a  number  of  people  on  my  hands,  and  the  horses  and 
outfit  to  take  care  of,  so  I  decided  to  put  away  four 
hundred  dollars.  I  had  small  money  changed  for 
four  one  hundred  dollar  bills,  put  them  in  a  manilla 
envelope,  sealed  it  and  decided  to  carry  it  between 
my  under  shirt  and  my  person.  I  did  not  think  there 
would  be  any  danger  of  losing  it  because  in  those  days 
nearly  every  one  wore  high  top  boots.  Going  about 
I  would  feel  to  see  if  the  money  was  still  there  and 
secure.  One  night  when  we  were  on  our  way  to 
Carrollton,  Kentucky,  we  had  to  ferry  over  to  the 
town,  which  kept  us  so  late  it  was  not  worth  while; 
to  go  to  a  hotel,  so  I  put  the  stock  in  the  livery  stable, 
shook  down  a  little  clean  straw,  pulled  my  boots  off 
and  slept  for  about  two  hours  until  daylight.  After 
getting  up  I  missed  the  envelope,  and  from  that  day 
until  this  I  have  no  idea  whether  it  was  stolen  or  if 
it  worked  out  of  my  boots.  I  know  I  didn't  get  over 
the  loss  for  quite  a  long  while,  as  it  was  the  most 
money  I  ever  had  possessed  and  the  greatest  loss  I 
had  ever  sustained. 

That  same  season,  out  in  Kansas,  some  men  came 
to  me  one  night  and  told  me  they  had  a  great  curiosity. 
Some  well  known  desperate  character,  who  had  lived 
in  that  neighborhood,  had  been  killed,  and  they 
offered  me  his  head,  which  they  had  cut  off  and  put 


in  a  jar  of  alcohol.  I  took  a  look  at  it,  but  that  was 
as  much  as  I  wanted  to  do  with  it. 

We  would  often  see  some  very  strange  sights  and 
occurrences.  Going  down  through  Arkansas  we 
reached  the  county  where  there  was  great  excitement 
and  contention  over  moving  the  county  seat  from 
Dover  to  Russellville.  United  States  troops  were  still 
stationed  down  in  that  country  in  those  days,  and  the 
feeling  was  so  intense  that  serious  trouble  was  liable 
to  break  out  in  the  circus.  Troops  were  stationed 
at  the  entrance  and  they  searched  every  man  that 
attended  the  circus  for  pistols  and  knives,  making 
a  stack  of  them  out  in  front  of  the  show  as  large  as  a 
hogshead.  On  coming  out  each  one  was  handed  his 
weapon,  and  thus  the  trouble  was  avoided. 

At  one  time  in  Kansas,  when  they  were  extending 
the  railroad  out  west,  we  showed  in  the  tent  city,  and 
Fulton  happened  to  meet  a  friend  there,  running  a 
biUiard  hall.  He  surely  dressed  funny.  He  was 
wearing  a  suit  of  clothes  made  out  of  green  billiard 
cloth.  That  was  the  only  suit  I  have  ever  seen  made 
of  this  material. 

The  circus  boys  were  always  a  study  to  me.  As 
soon  as  they  are  in  a  position  that  will  justify  it,  they 
are  taken  with  the  diamond  fever,  and  they  are  never 
satisfied  until  they  get  a  diamond  or  two.  In  the 
spring  of  the  year  previous  to  starting  out,  they  would 
sometimes  arrive  weeks  ahead,  the  ones  that  were 


broke  always  arriving  early.  They  were  sure  of  a 
meal  ticket,  and  it  was  probable  their  welcome  had 
worn  out  where  they  had  spent  the  winter.  On  their 
arrival  it  was  never  necessary  to  ask  them  how  they 
were  fixed.  If  any  diamonds  were  on  their  persons — 
necktie,  shirtbosom  or  fingers — they  were  all  right, 
and  had  passed  through  the  winter  in  good  shape, 
but  if  no  diamonds  adorned  them  it  was  a  dead  sure 
thing  they  were  flat  broke;  because  if  they  had  ten 
dollars  they  would  have  a  diamond. 

We  had  many  strange  experiences  when  we  traveled 
by  wagon.  On  long  routes  we  would  have  to  start 
early.  We  often  had  breakdowns,  or  some  other 
accident.  On  Sunday  we  would  have  a  long  journey, 
sometimes  as  much  as  fifty  miles.  No  provision  was 
made  for  meals,  and  we  had  to  eat  the  best  we  could 
on  the  road. 

I  remember  one  time  when  we  were  in  Missouri,  it 
was  too  late  for  regular  meals.  We  stopped  at  a  little 
old  hotel  and  asked  the  proprietor  if  we  could  get 
some  dinner.  There  were  about  ten  or  twelve  of  us, 
but  he  said,  "No,  I  cannot  take  care  of  you."  We 
pleaded  as  well  as  we  could;  we  told  him  we  were  nice 
people  and  would  be  no  trouble  to  take  care  of,  that 
he  would  find  us  all  right,  etc.  He  listened  to  our 
talk,  and  in  answer  to  our  saying  that  we  were  all 
right,  he  replied  that  he  had  often  heard  of  entertain- 
ing angels  unawares,  but  he  had  never  heard  of  any 


angels  being  with  a  circus.    So  we  drove  on,  hoping  to 
do  better  at  the  next  place. 

In  traveling  through  the  country  we  had  many 
funny  experiences.  Often  when  we  wished  things  for 
the  table,  such  as  eggs,  butter,  milk,  etc.,  we  would 
go  to  a  house  and  plead  for  these  things  for  the  people 
to  eat,  and  nine  times  out  of  ten  it  would  be  impossible 
to  get  them.  But  I  never  knew  it  to  fail  if  we  went 
to  a  house  and  asked  for  something  for  a  sick  monkey, 
he  would  surely  get  it,  if  they  had  it.  That  was  one 
thing  I  never  could  understand. 

I  remember  one  day  at  Indianapolis,  I  was  sitting 
behind  the  candy  stand  in  the  menagerie,  when  a  lady 
came  up  with  a  child  and  asked  if  we  had  any  drinking 
water.  She  was  told  that  we  had  not.  She  remarked 
that  the  little  boy  could  not  drink  lemonade.  She 
was  assured  that  he  could  drink  what  we  had  as  there 
was  not  a  particle  of  lemon  in  it.  The  circus  boys 
did  not  waste  lemons  by  making  lemonade  out  of 

Colonel  Goshen,  the  Arabian  Giant,  was  a  side  show 
curiosity  who  amused  me  a  great  deal  with  the 
awful  lies  he  used  to  tell.  He  said  he  had  been  in  the 
Mexican  war  and  was  wounded  and  taken  prisoner 
in  one  of  the  battles.  He  claimed  to  be  a  great  shot, 
and  that  the  Mexicans  agreed  to  release  him  on 
condition  that  he  would  show  them  some  of  his  great 
marksmanship.    With  nothing  to  lose  and  all  to  gain. 


he  said,  they  asked  him  to  hit  the  dial  of  the  town 
clock  about  a  mile  away.  He  threw  the  gun  to  his 
shoulder,  and  with  just  one  shot  tore  the  hands  ofiF 
the  clock.  He  used  to  amuse  Kohl  and  me  a  great 
deal  when  we  would  ask  him  how  he  was  feeling,  by 
replying,  "Not  very  well;  the  lead  in  me  is  very 
heavy  today,  and  I  feel  it."  So  it  became  a  by- word 
between  Kohl  and  me.  Often  we  would  say,  if  we 
did  not  feel  very  well,  "The  lead  is  pretty  heavy  in  me 

Col.  Goshen  often  told  us  that  he  could  make  a 
salve  that  would  be  a  great  thing  in  case  of  another 
war.  That  for  wounds,  etc.,  it  was  simply  great. 
Amputate  a  soldier's  leg  or  arm,  apply  some  of  this 
salve  and  the  part  was  healed  the  next  day.  He  said 
he  spoke  to  Gen.  Grant  and  Sherman  about  selling  it 
to  the  government  but  they  said  we  would  never  have 
another  war  and  could  not  use  it. 

Colonel  always  reminded  me  of  Jack  Lawton  who 
was  not  careful  of  the  truth  of  his  statements  and  at 
times  would  believe  his  own  lies.  He  was  down  at 
the  steamship  docks  one  day  and  started  up  town. 
Meeting  some  friends  they  inquired  where  he  had 
been.  He  told  them  "down  on  the  pier  looking  at 
some  fishermen  landing  a  whale".  They  hurriedly 
left  him  to  see  it.  He  proceeded  on  up  town,  meeting 
more  friends  and  telling  them  about  the  whale.  The 
story  got  ahead  of  him  and  the  people  began  to  pass 


him  on  their  way  down  to  see  the  whale.  Crowds 
passing  him  all  talking  about  the  whale.  He  stopped, 
looked  back  as  if  in  doubt,  saying,  "I  am  going  back 
myself  by .     Maybe  they  have  caught  one". 

Isaac  Sprague  was  a  skeleton.  He  and  Kohl  did 
not  always  get  along  very  well  together.  Oftentimes 
after  a  little  tilt  between  them  Kohl  would  be  giving 
a  description  of  him,  his  ailments,  etc.,  and  right  in 
the  midst  of  it  Sprague  would  speak  out  and  say, 
"  It  is  not  true,  the  only  trouble  is  they  do  not  give  me 
enough  to  eat." 

At  the  time  I  had  a  museum  on  the  Bowery  he 
was  with  me  and  roomed  on  Houston  Street.  That 
was  not  the  finest  neighborhood  in  New  York  at  that 
time.  I  should  have  said  before  this  that  Sprague  was 
married  and  had  a  wife  and  three  children.  On 
arriving  at  the  Museum  one  morning  he  told  me  that 
he  had  been  robbed,  that  some  one  had  climbed  over 
the  roof  of  an  adjoining  shed,  opened  the  window 
into  his  room  and  stolen  his  pocket  book.  He  knew 
nothing  of  this  until  he  awoke  in  the  morning,  very 
cold  and  with  his  wife  lying  up  close  to  him  to  keep 
warm.  It  developed  that,  being  in  the  winter,  and 
the  thief  leaving  the  window  up,  both  of  them  no 
doubt  woke  up  very  cold;  but  how  his  wife  could 
expect  heat  or  warmth  by  lying  up  against  him  I 
cannot  see,  as  it  would  be  like  lying  up  against  a  pair 
of  iron  tongs. 


One  night  at  Grand  Rapids,  Michigan,  the  weather 
looked  very  threatening.  Show  people  have  a  great 
dread  of  packing  up  a  wet  tent,  the  rain  making  it  so 
heavy  to  handle,  as  well  as  very  muddy  under  foot. 
That  night  they  were  working  very  fast.  Kohl 
picked  up  Sprague  and  leaned  him  up  in  a  fence  corner, 
while  they  hustled  to  get  the  tent  down  and  packed. 
It  was  raining,  with  thunder  and  lightning,  and  there 
stood  Sprague  over  in  the  fence  corner,  swearing  and 
calling,  but  no  one  paid  any  attention  to  him  until 
the  tent  was  put  away,  when  they  took  him  down  and 
put  him  away  in  the  car. 

Jimmy  Quigley  came  to  me  one  day  and  told  me 
that  he  had  a  positive  novelty  in  the  way  of  a  per- 
formance— a  troop  of  trained  chickens.  That  sounded 
good  to  me,  so  Jimmy  brought  them  down  in  the 
morning  and  they  gave  a  very  interesting  perfor- 
mance. When  night  came  the  chickens  went  on  a 
strike,  as  we  called  it.  They  wanted  to  go  to  roost, 
and  to  roost  they  did  go.  They  never  would  work  at 
night.  Quigley  did  not  know  this  because  he  had 
been  training  them  for  months  during  the  day  time. 
So  the  chicken  performers  were  a  failure. 




Our  stay  in  Australia  was  marked  with  financial 
success  as  well  as  very  pleasant  business  acquaintances 
with  Australian  people.  They  always  extended  us  a 
hearty  welcome.  I  never  was  in  a  country  where  they 
were  as  fond  of  athletic  sports,  horse  racing,  rowing, 
cricket,  etc. 

The  bathing  beaches  of  Australia  had  to  be  guarded 
by  driving  piles  around  them  to  keep  the  bathers  out 
of  the  jaws  of  the  sharks.  On  going  up  the  coast  of 
Australia  on  our  way  to  Java  we  had  some  strange 
experiences.  At  one  point,  which  was  the  land  end  of 
the  cable,  was  a  small  settlement  where  people  in  the 
employ  of  the  cable  company  lived,  and  at  the  time 
we  were  there,  living  out  about  half  a  mile,  were  quite 
a  number  of  aborigines.  The  climate  being  very 
warm,  they  did  not  require  much  clothing,  but  when 
any  of  them  had  occasion  to  come  into  the  station, 
they  would  take  a  cofiFee  sack,  cut  a  hole  in  the 
centre  to  push  their  head  through,  and  holes  in  either 
corner  for  their  arms,  and  with  this  for  clothing  they 
were  permitted  to  come  in.  On  their  return  they 
would  loan  it  to  another  native,  which  usually  kept 
it  in  use. 

CI. ECUS      MEMOIRS  55 

At  a  place  called  McKay,  I  remember  one  black 
chap  coming  down  to  our  steamer  wearing  a  brass 
plate  about  the  size  of  half  the  head  of  a  barrel,  on 
the  plate  being  engraved  and  inlaid  with  black  letters : 
"Jimmie  Strongstink,  King  of  Patrick's  Plains". 
It  was  hung  arouijd  his  neck  by  a  chain,  and  was 
presented  to  him  by  some  of  the  boys  about  town  as  a 
joke.  But  he  would  call  attention  to  it  and  point  to 
it  with  great  pride. 

There  was  a  Mr.  Robinson,  a  cannon  ball  performer, 
whom  we  heard  of  in  Australia.  They  used  to  tell 
about  his  wonderful  strength,  etc.  One  of  his  tricks 
he  used  to  do  when  he  took  offence  at  the  people  of  the 
music  halls  where  he  was  working.  All  the  music  they 
had  was  a  piano,  so  when  he  was  offended  in  any 
way,  in  the  course  of  his  act  he  would  use  one  of  the 
cannon  balls  to  smash  the  piano,  putting  it  out  of 
business,  he  claiming  it  to  be  an  accident. 

At  one  time  on  our  trip  along  the  coast  of  Australia 
we  had  to  wait  for  the  tide  to  come  in  to  get  us  over  a 
bar.  I  asked  if  I  could  go  ashore  in  the  wilds  to  shoot 
a  kangaroo  and  the  captain  consented,  saying  he 
would  have  the  whistle  blow  every  little  while  so 
I  would  not  lose  my  direction.  After  being  ashore 
awhile  I  shot  a  kangaroo  and  dragged  it  down  to  the 
steamer,  where  it  was  taken  aboard.  Everybody  had 
a  look  at  it.  The  captain  finally  ordered  the  men  to 
take  it  back  to  the  cook.    Some  of  the  women  folks 


asked  what  was  to  be  done  with  it,  and  he  answered, 
"Cook  it  and  eat  it."  They  all  exclaimed  that  they 
wouldn't  eat  it.  He  told  them  that  it  was  very  nice. 
The  next  night  after  dinner  the  captain  and  everybody 
were  on  deck  and  feeling  very  happy,  when  he  asked 
them  how  they  liked  the  dinner.  They  said  very  well. 
"How  did  you  like  the  soup?"  "Fine!"  Then  he 
told  them  it  was  kangaroo  soup.  So  they  had  eaten 
kangaroo  soup  without  knowing  it. 

On  this  trip  we  stopped  at  Cookstown,  and  the  only 
ground  we  found  large  enough  on  which  to  erect  our 
tent  was  down  at  the  edge  of  the  water.  Our  tent 
extended  on  the  beach  and  before  the  performance 
was  finished  the  tide  had  come  in,  and  there  were  our 
seats  standing  in  the  water.  It  was  my  second 
experience  of  that  kind.  The  other  was  at  Shreve- 
port,  Louisiana,  when  the  river  was  very  low,  and 
we  erected  our  tents  on  theriver  bottom. 

We  gave  a  circus  performance  at  Cookstown. 
Our  troupe  was  made  up  of  first  class  artists,  but  the 
only  music  we  had  was  an  old  fashioned  hand  organ. 
It  was  really  comical  to  see  it,  but  everybody  seemed 
to  enjoy  it. 

In  Melbourne,  Australia,  while  we  were  showing  on 
the  banks  of  the  river  Yarra  Yarra,  something 
happened  to  the  eels  in  the  river,  and  thousands  of 
them  were  seen  dead,  floating  on  the  river.  That 
night,  while  the  people  who  came  in  carriages  and 


hacks  were  in  looking  at  the  show,  some  of  the  town 
boys  on  the  outside  thought  they  would  have  some 
fun,  and  I  think  they  put  dead  eels  on  the  seats  of 
every  carriage  that  was  waiting  around  the  show. 
They  had  no  lights  for  the  carriages  and  hacks,  and 
when  the  people  came  to  sit  down  they  found  them- 
selves sitting  on  these  slimy,  dead  eels.  I  can  assure 
you  that  things  were  very  lively  around  there  for  a 
while,  between  the  screaming  of  the  women,  the 
swearing  of  the  men  and  the  laughing  of  the  onlookers. 
The  papers  in  Melbourne  said  they  thought  the  death 
of  the  eels  was  caused  by  the  noise  our  steam  calUope 

It  was  in  Australia  that  I  first  met  Harry  Keller, 
the  great  magician,  who  has  retired  and  is  now  living 
in  Los  Angeles. 

I  also  met  Will  J.  Davis  in  Australia,  and  I  am 
pleased  to  say  the  three  of  us  have  been  good  friends 
ever  since. 

We  had  a  funny  experience  in  Australia.  In 
America  circus  men  have  no  hour  for  meals.  If  the 
outfit  is  delayed  its  just  hustle  until  the  doors  are  open. 
In  Australia  we  were  late  one  day  getting  in  to  one  of 
the  interior  towns  and  had  to  hire  a  lot  of  extra  men 
to  unload  and  get  up  the  tents.  Imagine  one  day 
when  they  all  sat  down  to  smoke  for  half  an  hour. 
I  thought  Mr.  Bailey  would  go  crazy.     The  idea  of 


them  taking  a  smoke  when  we  were  so  late  was  a  new 
thing  for  him. 

Before  the  present  plan  of  cook  tents  the  manage- 
ment and  performers  stopped  in  the  hotels,  the 
proprietor  generally  in  the  best,  the  performers  in  the 
next  best,  etc.  When  Bailey  &  Cooper  engaged 
James  Robinson,  the  rider,  to  go  to  Australia  he  was 
the  only  one  available  so  he  dictated  his  own  terms 
regarding  price,  etc.  He  got  $500.00  per  week,  work 
or  play,  and  all  his  expenses  for  horses  and  family. 
Robinson  also  insisted  on  inserting  in  the  contract 
that  he  was  to  be  put  up  in  the  same  hotel  with  Mr. 
Bailey  at  which  Mr.  Bailey  was  annoyed.  So  Bailey 
to  get  even  with  Robinson,  stopped  at  boarding 
houses  all  the  time.  He  said  he  was  sure  to  have  the 
contract  framed. 

While  in  Australia  we  were  told  about  sand  storms 
but  never  saw  one  until  we  were  showing  up  the 
country  from  Adelaide  when  one  came  rolling  along 
in  our  direction.  When  it  reached  us  you  could  not 
see  two  feet  and  when  it  passed  on  then  came  a  cloud 
burst  and  soon  the  streams  were  out  of  their  banks. 
Our  tents  were  washed  away.  Some  of  the  people  in 
the  town  did  not  seem  alarmed  for  the  saloons  kept 
on  doing  business  though  the  water  was  two  feet  deep 
in  the  saloons  and  the  folks  standing  in  the  water 
up  to  the  bar  drinking  away.  We  did  not  get  our 
stuff  together  for  several  days. 


Jos.  K.  Emmet  was  playing  in  Australia  while  we 
were  there  and  he,  like  many  others,  once  in  a  great 
while  got  too  much  aboard.  It  was  announced  that 
the  Governor-General  Sir  Hercules  Robinson  was  to 
attend  his  performance  this  night  and  Emmet  was 
not  in  condition  to  appear,  and  to  the  surprise  of 
many  Emmet's  business  was  capacity  afterwards; 
the  curiosity  to  see  the  American  actor  who  had  the 
nerve  to  disappoint  when  the  Governor-General  was 
to  attend  filled  the  house  as  long  as  he  stayed. 

We  were  much  amused  while  in  one  of  the  interior 
towns  by  a  black  woman  who  was  carrying  her  baby 
in  her  arms.  Our  curiosity  to  see  the  black  baby  was 
great,  and  looking  at  it  very  closely,  we  discovered  that 
she  had  mixed  some  grease  and  charcoal  and  given  the 
baby  a  coating  of  it.  It  was  a  very  warm  day  and  the 
heat  of  the  sun  had  caused  the  black  grease  to  run 
off  the  baby,  which  showed  the  child  to  be  half  white. 
It  struck  us  that  the  mother  was  ashamed  of  having 
a  mulatto  baby. 

Mr.  Cunningham,  whom  I  knew  over  there,  had 
occasion  to  bring  some  aborigines  over  to  the  Barnum 
show  the  year  I  was  with  it.  He  told  me  in  crossing 
from  San  Francisco  to  Omaha  they  encountered  a 
snow  storm.  These  natives  had  never  seen  snow  and 
of  course,  were  much  surprised,  and  in  trying  to 
make  Cunningham  see  that  they  knew  what  it  was, 
they  gave  a  motion  of  the  hand  as  though  they  were 


turning  a  crank.  In  a  short  time  Cunningham 
figured  out  they  had  experienced  turning  an  ice 
cream  freezer  and  likened  the  snow  to  ice  cream. 

In  going  up  the  coast  of  Australia  the  natives 
would  pull  out  into  the  ocean  in  little  log  dug-outs, 
come  as  near  to  the  ship  as  they  felt  was  safe,  and 
cry  out  to  us  to  throw  them  tobacco.  The  captain 
always  threw  them  food,  such  as  a  leg  of  mutton  or 
meat  of  some  sort,  but  they  never  seemed  to  care 
for  anything  except  tobacco. 

It  was  very  interesting  to  see  them  throw  the 
boomerang.  I  left  that  country  under  the  impression 
that  they  were  the  only  people  who  could  do  it,  but 
I  have  since  seen  people  employed  by  me  stand  on 
the  stage,  throw  them  over  the  audience  and  have 
them  return  to  them  with  more  precision  than  shown 
by  the  Australians. 

We  get  our  eucalyptus  tree,  which  is  so  plentiful 
in  CaUfornia,  from  Australia.  It  is  surely  a  great 
asset  to  that  country,  as  it  is  a  fast  grower,  a  hard 
wood,  and  of  many  varieties.  The  tree  sheds  its  bark 
instead  of  its  leaves. 

While  there  are  many  birds  with  beautiful  plumage 
in  Australia,  there  are  very  few,  if  any,  song  birds. 

While  in  Australia  I  never  heard  of  or  saw  a  snake. 

We  found  Van  Deeman's  Land,  now  called  Tas- 


mania,  a  very  fine  island.    Its  name  was  changed  in 
order  to  lose  its  former  identity  as  a  penal  colony. 

New  Zealand  is  a  very  beautiful  land.  It  has 
beautiful  harbors  and  attractive  cities,  with  a  fine 

When  in  Lima,  Peru,  on  Sunday  afternoon  Mr. 
Bailey  and  I  attended  the  bull  fight,  never  having 
attended  one.  After  the  matador  had  killed  several 
I  remarked  to  Bailey  that  I  would  like  to  see  the  bull 
get  the  best  of  it  one  time  and  I  had  scarcely  finished 
saying  the  words  until  the  bull  had  the  people's  idol 
down  on  the  ground  horning  him  in  good  shape.  The 
audience  in  turn  applauded  the  bull. 

We  chartered  a  sailing  ship  named  the  "Golden 
Sea"  and  sailed  from  Auckland,  New  Zealand,  to 
Peru,  South  America,  and  were  for  fifty-four  days 
out  of  sight  of  land.  We  were  surely  glad  when  we 
reached   Callao. 

After  being  out  for  about  a  week  on  this  voyage,  the 
elephant,  which  I  have  already  mentioned,  ate  a  box 
of  sulphur  matches  which  one  of  the  men  had  left 
carelessly  near  him,  and  died  the  next  day.  We  threw 
the  carcass  overboard.  We  learned  afterwards  that 
the  tides  carried  it  back  to  Auckland,  where  the 
people  concluded  that  we  had  been  shipwrecked. 
We  certainly  experienced  some  very  severe  weather. 
We  were  in  one  storm  in  which  fourteen  ships  were 


lost  along  the  coast,  but,  luckily,  we  pulled  through. 

I  remember  we  had  a  couple  of  sea  lions  on  board, 
and  after  our  fish  were  consumed  we  had  nothing  to 
feed  them.  We  thought  they  would  only  eat  fresh 
fish,  but  soon  found  that  by  running  the  thread  off  of 
a  linen  spool,  which  was  used  to  sew  on  spangles,  and 
letting  that  fly  from  the  rear  of  the  ship  for  a  couple 
of  hundred  yards,  the  gulls  and  Cape  pigeons  and 
albatross  would  get  tangled  up  in  it,  when  we  would 
pull  them  on  board  and  feed  them  to  the  sea  lions. 
As  the  birds  had  a  fishy  flavor  the  sea  lions  would 
eat  them,  and  by  this  means  we  kept  the  sea  lions 
alive  until  we  reached  port. 

The  hotels  in  South  America  seemed  very  strange 
to  us.  Of  course,  on  account  of  giving  night  per- 
formances, we  were  always  late  in  returning  to  the 
hotel.  We  found  that  the  doors  opened  outward. 
The  hotels  were  generally  located  on  the  second  floor, 
with  large  steps  leading  up  to  them.  The  porter 
would  sleep  at  the  head  of  the  stairs  in  a  cot,  with  a 
strong  cord,  one  end  of  which  was  attached  to  the 
door  knob  and  the  other  end  to  his  big  toe.  Upon 
any  one  opening  the  door  the  cord  pulling  on  his  toe 
would  awaken  him. 

I  have  spoken  of  James  Robinson  being  a  great 
rider  in  his  day,  but  I  must  not  lose  sight  of  the  fact 
that  no  man  can  be  a  grand  rider  without  a  grand 
horse.     Then,  when  he  has  a  grand  horse,  he  must 


also  have  a  person  who  understands  it,  to  follow 
the  horse  around  with  a  wliip  in  his  hand,  "Keeping 
the  horse  up",  as  it  is  termed.  He  must  start  with  the 
right  foot  first,  as  the  rider  cannot  ride  him  if  he  is 
running  what  is  termed  "False".  Often  it  is  neces- 
sary to  put  rosin  on  the  back  of  the  horse,  which 
sometimes  makes  the  horse's  back  sore.  Naturally, 
when  the  rider  attempts  to  throw  a  summersault,  or 
do  some  other  trick,  the  horse  flinches,  which  tends 
to  throw  the  rider  off. 

I  have  nothing  but  good  words  for  circus  people. 
They  are  kind  hearted  and  always  willing  to  aid  each 
other  v/hen  in  distress  or  trouble.  It  is  surprising  how 
little  drinking  is  done  in  the  circus. 

It  is  strange  how  easily  a  person  can  get  into  ex- 
travagant habits.  I  have  seen  some  of  the  performers 
go  along  with  the  show,  earning,  I  will  say  to  illus- 
trate, one  hundred  dollars  per  week,  and  with  no  one 
to  provide  for,  and  I  have  seen  those  same  people  go 
to  a  man  who  was  earning,  perhaps,  only  forty  dollars 
a  month,  and  borrow  money  from  him;  then  stay  in 
his  debt  the  whole  season. 

It  is  strange  how  men's  lines  fall.  In  the  army  I 
was  where  the  military  bands  and  bugles  and  fifes 
were  always  playing.  From  the  army  I  went  into  the 
circus  business,  where  we  were  always  with  music. 
Then  I  got  into  a  line  of  business  where  the  principal 


thing  was  to  make  people  laugh,  to  entertain  them 
and  amuse  them,  as  well  as  to  instruct  them.  I 
don't  feel  that  I  ever  got  a  dollar  by  making  people 
feel  badly,  and  as  I  look  back  now,  I  am  much  pleased 
to  know  it.  Sometimes,  perhaps,  they  may  not  have 
thought  they  had  the  worth  of  their  money,  but  I 
think  that  was  because  we  are  all  of  different  minds. 

Sometimes  we  would  do  things  and  say  things 
which  would  make  us  laugh  among  ourselves.  I  re- 
member one  time  when  Kohl  and  I,  and  a  man  by  the 
name  of  Morton,  talked  of  leasing  the  Columbia 
Theatre  in  Chicago.  Morton  was  managing  it  at 
that  time  with  other  parties.  We  began  figuring  up 
what  the  probable  expense  would  be  to  run  it.  The 
three  of  us  agreed  along  pretty  well  until  we  reached 
the  treasurer,  who  was  to  be  in  the  box  office.  Morton 
told  us  that  a  man  to  fill  that  position  should  get  a 
salary  of  about  thirty-five  or  fifty  dollars  per  week. 
We  didn't  think  it  was  worth  so  much.  Morton 
then  began  to  tell  us  about  the  way  a  man  would 
have  to  dress;  how  it  would  be  necessary  for  him  to 
have  a  full  dress  suit,  etc.,  so  as  to  make  a  nice 
appearance  in  the  box  office.  Kohl,  in  a  half  joking 
way  and  half  in  earnest,  replied  that  it  would  not  be 
necessary  for  the  man  to  have  a  full  dress  suit;  that, 
standing  up  there  with  his  breast  to  the  window,  it 
would  only  be  necessary  for  him  to  wear  one  of  those 
fronts  they  put  on  a  corpse.    I  thought  Morton  would 


drop  dead,  and  when  Kohl  and  I  were  alone  I  think 
we  laughed  for  full  ten  minutes  at  Morton's  appear- 
ance when  he  heard  Kohl's  remark. 

Belle  Boyd  was  a  Confederate  spy  during  the  war, 
and  her  name  was  on  the  lips  of  every  one  in  the  army. 
Imagine  my  surprise  one  day,  twenty  years  after  the 
war,  when  she  came  along  and  made  application  to 
lecture  in  the  museum,  which  she  did  in  a  Confederate 

In  Java  I  had  a  native  brass  band  of  about  thirty- 
five  pieces.  They  could  only  play  one  tune,  so  the 
music  was  the  same  all  through  the  performance; 
whether  we  wanted  a  march,  a  gallop  or  a  waltz,  it 
had  to  do  for  all  the  acts.  The  Javanese  all  look  alike, 
and  I  couldn't  tell  one  from  another  when  they  came 
to  the  show,  but  their  instrument  was  the  pass  that 
let  them  in.  For  the  first  few  performances  it  was 
really  amusing  to  watch  them.  They  would  become 
so  interested  in  watching  the  act  that  out  of  the  thirty- 
five  there  would  sometimes  be  only  about  four  or  five 
tooting  on  the  horns,  and  then,  when  they  realized 
they  were  not  playing,  all  would  commence  to  blow 
a  blast  together. 

Our  show  included  Madame  De  Atalie,  a  strong 
woman.  When  the  brass  cannon  was  placed  on  her 
shoulders  and  a  man  standing  on  it  would  fire  it  oflF, 
the  Javanese  band  quit  playing  altogether,  forgetting 


all  about  the  music.  After  a  time  some  of  them  would 
become  tired,  having  seen  enough  of  the  show,  when 
they  would  hand  over  their  instruments  to  their 
friends  in  the  town,  so  there  would  remain  out  of  a 
supposed  thirty-five  musicians,  not  more  than  six 
or  eight  of  them  who  could  play  at  all.  They  had  just 
used  the  horns  to  get  into  the  show. 

The  watering  of  streets  in  Java  was  done  by  hand. 
The  policemen  were  armed  only  with  pitchforks. 
When  arresting  a  person  they  would  simply  shove 
him  along  by  the  back  of  the  neck  wherever  they 
wanted  him  to  go. 

Java  is  a  very  interesting  country.  On  arriving 
at  the  hotel  the  manager  calls  a  boy,  who  is  engaged 
to  wait  on  the  guest  during  his  stay.  To  one's  sur- 
prise, when  the  boy  appears,  he  is  seen  to  be  a  man  of 
about  fifty  years  of  age.  This  waiter  attends  you 
at  the  table  and  takes  care  of  your  room. 

The  hotels  are  run  on  the  American  plan  and  all 
the  food  is  served  on  larger  platters.  The  waiter 
will  not  ask  whether  or  not  one  wishes  any  of  the 
different  dishes,  but  takes  one  after  the  other  and 
scrapes  some  of  it  on  the  diner's  plate.  When  the 
meal  is  finished  the  plate  is  heaped  up  like  a  derby  hat. 
One  will  understand  why  he  has  served  so  liberally 
when  it  is  learned  that  the  food  left  upon  the  plate 
belongs  to  him.     He  takes  the  dishes  to  the  guest's 


room  and  scrapes  them  into  a  bucket  which  he  has 
standing  behind  the  door.  On  returning  to  his 
family  at  night  he  takes  this  along  for  them  to  eat, 

Java  belongs  to  Holland.  Gin  is  free  in  the  hotels. 
There  were  no  ice-making  plants  when  I  was  there. 
Ice  was  brought  around  from  Boston  in  sailing  vessels, 
and  we  paid  ten  cents  a  glass  for  ice  water.  Smoking 
was  a  cheap  luxury;  one  could  buy  about  fifteen 
cigars  for  five  cents,  and  they  were  not  real  bad 

At  first  we  were  greatly  annoyed  while  lying  in  bed 
to  see  lizards  crawling  around  on  the  walls  and 
ceilings.  Often  times  they  would  fall  on  the  bed. 
This  was  a  sure  enough  sight,  not  an  imaginary  one 
caused  by  drinking. 

We  gave  our  matinees  there  at  seven  o'clock  in  the 
morning  while  it  was  cool.  Funerals  take  place  there 
at  that  time  of  day  also.  Labor  saving  devices  were 
not  employed  on  the  Island. 



In  1880  I  went  out  with  Adam  Forepaugh's  circus. 
We  were  out,  of  course,  the  regular  season  of  six 
months.  It  was  not  a  very  prosperous  season  and  I 
didn't  like  the  idea  of  being  idle  all  winter,  so  I  went 
over  to  New  York  just  before  my  season  closed  and 
started  a  dime  museum.  Having  an  acquaintance 
with  curiosities,  and  managed  a  circus  as  well  as  the 
side  shows,  I  was  familiar  with  the  performances 
necessary;  so  I  rented  a  room  and  opened  up  a  dime 
museum — the  first  in  the  United  States.  It  proved 
a  success  from  the  start. 

I  continued  for  about  two  years,  when  the  circus 
fever  came  over  me  again  and  I  wanted  to  travel,  so 
I  sold  the  dime  museum,  or  rather,  I  might  say,  I 
gave  it  away,  for  I  got  nothing  for  it,  and  went  out 
on  the  road  again  with  a  circus,  lost  all  the  money  I 
had  made  and  wound  up  flat  broke. 

I  went  out  next  season  with  John  O'Brien's  circus, 
which  was  not  very  successful,  and  we  left  a  trail  of 
circus  plunder  behind  us  to  pay  debts,  or  as  security 
for  debts  incurred,  that  reached  nearly  from  St. 
Louis  to  Winnipeg,  where,  fortunately,  we  struck 
good  business  and  Kohl  and  I  formed  a  partnership. 


The  show  wintered  in  Frankford  and  opened  there 
in  the  spring.  In  the  side  show  we  had  a  big  negro 
whom  we  had  fitted  up  with  rings  in  his  nose,  a 
leopard  skin,  some  assagais  and  a  large  shield  made 
out  of  cow's  skin.  While  he  was  sitting  on  the 
stage  in  the  side  show,  along  came  two  negro  women 
and  remarked,  "See  that  nigger  over  there?  He 
ain't  no  Zulu,  that's  Bill  Jackson.  He  worked  over 
here  at  Camden  on  the  dock.  I  seen  that  nigger 
often."  Poor  old  Bill  Jackson  was  as  uneasy  as  if 
he  was  sitting  on  needles,  holding  the  shield  between 
him  and  the  two  negro  women.  Fortunately  for 
him,  about  this  time  the  audience  was  called  to 
another  portion  of  the  tent. 

In  coming  down  from  the  northwest  C.  E.  Kohl  and 
I  decided  there  was  an  opening  in  Chicago  for  a  dime 
museum,  so  we  formed  a  co-partnership  and  I  went  on 
to  Chicago  to  look  up  a  location,  which  I  found  at 
150  West  Madison  Street,. just  east  of  Halstead.  It 
was  an  instantaneous  success,  and  we  kept  in  operation 
a  great  many  years. 

The  next  year  we  opened  one  at  150  Clark  Street, 
which  was  also  very  successful. 

During  the  World's  Fair  we  opened  another  one  at 
300  State  Street,  which  was  also  a  success.  We 
also  established  them  in  Milwaukee,  Cincinnati, 
Louisville,   St.   Paul,    Minneapolis,   and   Cleveland. 


All  except  Cleveland  paid  handsomely,  which  was  our 
only  failure  in  the  dime  museum  business. 

It  was  a  strange  business,  and  for  a  few  years  the 
dime  was  something  new  for  the  price  of  admission  to 
a  place  of  amusement.  Thousands  and  thousands  of 
people  would  pass  along  and  say,  "Oh,  let's  go  in 
for  fun;"  but  as  years  went  by  those  same  people 
became  critics  and  would  not  spend  their  dime  nor 
their  time  unless  the  show  was  considered  worth  it. 

The  dime  museum  business,  with  its  curiosities,  its 
stage  performance  and  its  music,  led  to  the  continuous 
vaudeville  of  the  theatres;  then  came  the  ten,  twenty 
and  thirty  cent  performance,  the  people  all  the 
time  demanding  better  shows,  for  which  they  were 
willing  to  pay,  until  finally  it  has  reached  the  high 
class  vaudeville  of  today,  in  which  higher  salaries 
are  paid  than  in  any  other  class  of  amusement, 
excepting  grand  opera. 

We  exhibited  many  strange  curiosities  and  some 
very  interesting  ones.  One  was  Anna  Leake,  who 
was  born  without  arms.  She  told  me  her  father 
was  a  man  who  drank  a  great  deal  and  was  very 
quarrelsome  with  his  friends.  Her  mother  learned  of 
his  being  in  a  scrap  down  in  the  town,  and  when  she 
saw  him  coming  home,  he  had  his  overcoat  thrown 
over  his  shoulders  without  his  arms  in  the  sleeves. 
She  claimed  tliis  was  the  reason  she  was  armless. 
She  died  a  few  years  ago.     She  was  a  noble  woman 


and  I  think  the  angels  came  out  of  heaven  to  meet 

Jonathan  Bass,  the  Ossified  Man,  was  quite  a 
curiosity.  A  great  many  people  came  to  see  him. 
He  told  me  the  ossification  was  brought  on  by  his 
being  in  the  water  so  much  of  his  time  rafting  lumber. 
I  would  always  have  a  little  chat  with  him  on  his 
arrival.  He  was  blind  and  had  no  more  control  of 
himseK  than  a  broomstick.  He  would  tell  me  of 
the  trouble  he  was  having  in  the  management  of  his 
farm;  how  the  men  would  not  put  in  the  crops  he 
told  them  to.  He  would  swear  like  a  trooper.  When- 
ever he  was  raised  up  to  give  a  lecture  some  one  in 
the  audience  would  surely  faint.  The  public  was 
incredulous  that  it  was  he  speaking,  some  declaring 
that  it  was  a  ventriloquist. 

John  Snyder  was  quite  a  drawing  card  for  us.  He 
was  afflicted  with  a  nervous  disease  which  made  it 
impossible  for  him  to  keep  still.  Kohl  made  the 
advertising  read  that  "When  he  got  tired  he  would 
have  to  run  up  and  down  stairs  to  rest  himself. " 

In  1880,  while  owner  of  the  Globe  Dime  Museum, 
298  Bowery,  New  York,  along  came  two  bright  chaps, 
Weber  and  Fields,  asking  for  something  to  do.  I 
put  them  to  passing  hand    bills. 

After  making  themselves  useful  for  a  week  or  two 
they  informed  me  they  would  like  to  go  on  the  stage 
for  a  turn.     So  I  put  them  on  and  they  made  good 


and  have  continued  to  do  so  from  that  day  up  to  the 
present  time.  We  often  talk  it  over  and  we  always 
have  a  warm  place  in  our  hearts  for  each  other. 

It  is  strange,  and  then  again,  I  do  not  know  that  it 
is  so  strange,  the  number  of  ideas  you  can  get  from 
an  outsider  for  your  business. 

We  had  been  exhibiting  fat  women  for  a  great 
many  years,  when  down  in  Cincinnati  one  day 
there  came  a  chap  along  from  over  in  Kentucky  who 
said  he  had  a  fat  woman,  a  negress,  called  Big  Winny; 
that  he  would  like  to  hire  her  out  and  wanted  us 
to  give  him  three  hundred  dollars  a  week  for  her. 
We  had  been  hiring  fat  women  for  twenty-five  and 
fifty  dollars  a  week,  and  big  ones  too.  This  chap  was 
so  persistent  that  I  listened  to  him,  and  finally  decided 
to  take  a  chance.  So  I  wired  up  to  Kohl  that  I 
had  hired  a  fat  woman  for  three  hundred  dollars  a 
week.  Well  he,  of  course,  was  staggered  by  my 
hiring  her,  but  no  more  than  I  was  at  doing  it.  This 
is  what  I  learned  from  the  chap,  whose  name  was 

He  had  her  arrive  in  town  in  an  express  car,  claiming 
she  was  too  big  to  get  into  a  passenger  coach  door. 
Then  he  hired  a  big  truck  to  be  at  the  depot  and 
backed  up  to  the  door  of  the  express  car,  taking  her 
on  the  truck  through  the  streets  to  the  museum. 

It  is  a  wonder  we  were  not  all  arrested,  for  the 
streets    were    blockaded,   street    cars    stopped,  and 


traffic  was  suspended.  Everybody  wanted  to  see 
BIG  Winny.  They  were  lined  up  in  front  of  the 
box  office  and  across  the  side  walk,  and  were  going  in 
just  as  fast  as  they  could.  They  looked  like  soldiers 
going  to  the  war.  That  business  kept  up  for  weeks, 
and  it  surely  opened  our  eyes. 

We  took  her  to  Chicago  with  the  same  result. 
Everywhere  we  took  her  it  was  capacity  house  for 

Robinson  got  sore  and  of  course  wanted  a  raise  in 
his  salary,  but  we  had  an  iron  clad  contract  with 
him  and  held  him  to  it. 

We  put  on  a  beauty  show  of  about  fifteen  or  sixteen 
fairly  good  looking  young  ladies  and  one  old  girl  who 
thought  she  still  retained  her  charms.  In  giving 
out  the  numbers,  she  drew  number  nine.  Every 
person  entering  the  museum  was  entitled  to  a  vote 
of  their  choice,  the  one  receiving  the  largest  number 
of  votes  to  be  declared  the  beauty.  The  fun  of  it 
was  that  eight  out  of  ten  of  the  public,  just  as  a  joke, 
voted  for  number  nine.  This  of  course  swelled  the 
poor  girl's  head  and  she  really  believed  that  she  was 
"It."  "Number  Nine"  was  a  great  joke  around 
Chicago  for  a  number  of  years  afterward. 

We  had  gum-chewing  contests,  type-writing 
contests  and  many  other  kinds  of  contests  as  could 
be  given  in  a  small  space. 


We  conceived  the  idea  one  day  of  exhibiting  the 
fat  man  lying  down,  so  we  fixed  up  a  comfortable 
bed  for  him  on  the  stage,  and  began  advertising 
him  as  being  so  large  that  he  couldn't  walk.  He 
was  perfectly  contented  to  lie  there  on  the  mattress, 
until  the  public  came  to  see  him  in  such  great  numbers 
that  he  began  to  think  he  was  a  great  drawing  card, 
then  claimed  that  it  was  very  hard  work  to  lie  there 
and  asked  for  more  money.  We  stood  him  off  the 
best  we  could,  but  one  day  when  the  lecturer  was 
telling  of  how  large  he  wa«,  and  what  a  burden  he 
was  to  himself;  how  he  couldn't  walk  nor  help  himself, 
in  fact,  how  he  had  to  be  taken  care  of  like  a  baby,  he 
got  up  right  in  the  midst  of  the  talk  and  informed  the 
lecturer  that  he  was  tired  of  it  and  wouldn't  work 
that  way  any  more  unless  he  got  more  money;  then 
walked  off  the  stage. 

Mille  Christine,  the  Double-Headed  Nightingale, 
colored,  born  in  South  Carolina,  was  brought  up 
north  once  in  a  while  and  placed  on  exhibition  by 
Joe  Smith.  She  was  a  very  fine  drawing  card.  She 
could  sing,  dance  and  play  the  piano.  One  head 
sang  soprano  while  the  other  head  sang  contralto. 
She  was  very  religious  and  could  never  be  induced  to 
exhibit  on  Sunday.  In  all  my  experience  she  was 
the  only  person  that  I  ever  met  who  would  not. 

Eli  Bowen  was  quite  an  attraction  for  us.     He  was 


born  without  legs,  his  feet  protruding  from  his  body. 
He  was  a  very  nice  entertainer. 

Quite  a  character,  who  may  be  living  today,  was 
"Popcorn  George."  His  home  was  in  Evansville, 
Wisconsin.  He  had  the  record  of  being  more  success- 
ful in  discovering  curiosities  than  any  man  I  ever  knew. 
Old  George  would  come  along  with  something  to 
hire  out  quite  often,  and  it  was  generally  a  curiosity 
or  a  good  freak. 

Kohl  never  forgave  him  for  the  last  one  he  handed 
us.  He  came  down  and  said  he  had  a  great  thing 
for  us,  informing  us  that  it  was  a  Mongoose.  Kohl 
nor  I  never  knew  what  a  Mongoose  was,  but  he  gave 
us  a  very  careful  description  of  it,  as  we  thought. 
On  his  description  we  ordered  the  paintings  for  the 
front  of  the  house,  having  them  made  about  as  large 
as  a  small  elephant.  When  the  wagon  backed  up 
to  the  door  with  the  Mongoose,  to  our  great  surprise 
it  was  in  a  small  soap  box  and  looked  to  be  about  the 
size  of  a  muskrat.  There  was  an  awful  amount  of 
kicking  about  the  Mongoose  from  the  visitors. 

It  is  a  showman's  place  to  supply  what  the  public 
wants,  if  he  can  find  out  what  that  is,  and  we  found 
they  always  liked  a  fortune  teller.  We  usually  kept 
one  for  the  ladies  so  they  could  visit  her  and  be  told 
the  good,  bad  and  indifferent  of  what  was  to  happen, 
etc.  I  never  could  understand  why  people  with 
common   sense   would   consult    a   clairvoyant    or   a 


fortune  teller  and  expect  to  learn  anything  of  any 
benefit.  I  always  contended  and  maintained  that  if 
they  had  the  power  to  foresee  the  future  they  would 
not  have  time  to  bother  telling  others  their  fortunes. 
They  could  be  so  independent,  and  have  so  much 
money  they  would  not  have  to  be  living  in  garrets 
or  back  rooms,  as  they  usually  do;  neither  would 
they  be  travelling  around  through  the  country.  They 
could  use  their  powers  and  take  advantage  in  a  large 
way  of  their  knowledge,  instead  of  fooling  with 
inquisitive  people. 

They  used  to  tell  me  in  the  museum  that  men 
from  the  Board  of  Trade  and  banks  would  consult 
them  as  to  the  future  markets,  and  the  price  of  wheat, 
corn  and  pork.     To  me  it  was  always  a  joke. 

We  exhibited  Tom  Thumb  and  his  wife  quite  often . 
Tom  was  always  a  good  card.  I  think  he  was  the 
drawing  card,  but  at  the  same  time  his  wife,  a  very 
charming  little  woman,  pleased  the  people  after  they 
arrived.  Tom  got  much  larger  the  latter  years  of  his 
life  than  when  he  was  formerly  on  exhibition,  but  he 
was  the  best  drawing  midget  this  country  ever  saw. 
I  think  his  name  had  something  to  do  with  it.  It 
was  such  a  proper  name  for  a  midget;  no  one  ever 
seemed  to  forget  it. 

Going  along  the  street,  if  the  word  was  passed  that 
he  was  Tom  Thumb,  the  sidewalk  would  soon  be 
blocked,  while  any  other  midget  would  receive  only 


a  glance  from  the  people.  I  have  seen  him  in  billiard 
halls  playing  the  game.  He  was  never  a  very  desirable 
patron,  because  there  would  be  nothing  doing  at 
any  of  the  other  tables  while  he  was  playing.  He 
played  a  fairly  good  game,  too. 

Tom  would  take  a  little  straight  nip  once  in  a 
while.  His  wife  is  still  living  and  married  happily 
to  an  Italian  Count.  It  was  only  the  other  day  that 
I  read  that  they  were  going  into  the  Hotel  business 
somewhere  up  in  Massachusetts. 

Chang,  the  Chinese  Giant,  was  a  fine  attraction 
for  a  museum  or  a  side  show,  and  he  was  a  very  nice, 
decent  fellow. 

I  had  Captain  Constantinus,  the  Greek.  He  was 
the  original  tattooed  man.  They  caricatured  James 
G.  Blaine  after  this  man.  The  tattoo  work  on  him 
was  very  fine,  the  best  I  have  ever  seen,  but  he  was 
a  surly,  overbearing  individual,  which  made  it  very 
hard  to  get  along  with  him. 

We  often  had  bearded  women  on  exhibition. 

I  have  often  listened  to  Faber's  talking  machine 
that  Barnum  had  with  his  circus  in  1871.  It  was  a 
very  feeble  attempt  at  talking  compared  with  the 
present  talking  machines. 

I  traveled  through  the  South  one  season  with 
Madame  Lake's  Circus,  and  as  an  outside  attraction 
we  sent  up  hot  air  balloons.  We  had  a  man  named 
Smith   who   had  charge  of   sending  them  up.     He 


always  succeeded  in  getting  a  few  negroes  to  dig  the 
trenches  in  which  to  make  the  fire.  On  one  occasion 
at  Newman,  Georgia,  after  working  half  a  day,  and 
just  before  the  show  doors  opened.  Smithy  let  the 
balloon  go,  and  it  sailed  off  beautifully  out  of  sight 
with  a  man  in  the  basket.  The  understanding  with 
the  negroes  that  Smithy  employed  was  that  they 
were  to  be  admitted  to  the  show  for  their  work.  In 
the  excitement,  while  the  balloon  was  sailing  off,  the 
darkeys  began  to  think  about  getting  into  the  show, 
and  one  said  to  the  other,  "where  is  that  man  that 
said  he  would  put  us  into  the  show.?*"  Smithy  was 
in  the  crowd  and  the  other  negro  answered :  "  My  God, 
man,  he  sailed  away  in  that  balloon!  He's  gone  on 
to  the  town  where  they  are  going  to  show  tomorrow!" 
And  they  raised  Cain  around  there  until  they  found 
Smith,  who  of  course  let  them  into  the  show  as  he  had 
agreed  to  do. 

Smith  was  a  good  man  at  getting  outside  help 
when  we  were  in  a  hurry.  Before  the  night  show  he 
would  always  look  up  ten  or  fifteen  men  or  boys  who 
would  agree  to  work  at  packing,  he  letting  them  in 
to  see  the  show;  but  he  would  take  their  hats  and 
caps  to  be  returned  after  they  had  finished  their 
work  of  taking  down  the  tents.  They  would  work 
along  very  nicely  for  a  few  seasons  until  they  got 
foxy;  then  some  of  them  would  bring  along  another 
hat  or  cap,  keeping  it  out  of  sight,  and  hand  him  the 


old  no-account  hat  they  were  wearing.  When  the 
show  was  over  they  were  on  their  way  home  and  he 
was  in  possession  of  their  old,  worn  out  caps. 

Smithy  was  a  good  man  and  remained  with  me  for 
twenty-five  years. 

He  had  one  great  fault,  and  that  was  playing  faro. 
I  remember  on  one  occasion  he  worked  all  the  six 
summer  months.  He  had  S9,ved  his  money  and 
arrived  in  Chicago  on  a  Sunday  morning.  One 
man  who  ran  a  gambling  house  there,  on  learning 
that  he  had  this  money,  opened  up  his  game  and 
robbed  him  of  it  all  before  night. 

Some  years  ago  quite  a  few  of  the  circuses  had 
grafters.  It  was  never  my  fortune,  or  misfortune, 
whichever  it  was,  to  ever  be  connected  with  one. 
They  surely  had  some  very  clever  boys  working 
those  games,  and  the  people  they  worked  them  on 
most  successfully  were  aged  men,  who  in  their  prime 
never  would  have  fallen  into  the  traps.  I  have 
often  thought  that  men  who  could  handle  other  men 
and  formulate  and  carry  out  such  schemes  and 
tricks  as  they  did  would  have  been  very  successful 
business  men  had  their  lines  fallen  in  other  places. 

I  remember  on  one  occasion  they  got  Mr.  Nat 
Lee,  of  southern  Indiana,  to  go  to  the  bank  where  his 
son-in-law,  David  Graham  Phillips'  father,  was  cash- 
ier, and  ask  him  for  ten  thousand  dollars.  He 
refused  to  give  any  explanation  of  what  he  was  going 


to  do  with  it  and  rushed  back  and  handed  it  over 
to  these  men,  who  of  course  made  way  with  it.  Now, 
I  call  that  pretty  slick  work.  There  were  thousands 
of  cases  of  this  kind  but  I  think,  on  the  whole,  there 
is  more  danger  of  having  one's  means  taken  away 
by  one's  friends  and  acquaintances,  for  as  a  rule 
you  are  more  suspicious  of  strangers  than  you  are  of 
people  you  know. 

I  knew  E.  J.  Lehman  whose  estate  owns  the  Fair 
in  Chicago  when  he  was  connected  with  the  Van 
Ambergs  Circus  when  I  was  looking  around  for  a 
location  in  Chicago  to  start  the  Museum.  I  had  been 
trying  to  close  for  a  lease  with  John  M.  Smyth  and  it 
hung  fire.  One  day  he  asked  me  who  I  knew  in 
Chicago.  I  told  him  I  knew  Mr.  Lehman  of  the  Fair. 
He  asked  me  to  bring  a  letter  from  him.  I  went  over 
to  ask  Mr.  Lehman  if  I  could  have  one.  He  said, 
"  come  around  at  3 :00  p.m.  I  will  go  over  with  you  to 
see  him."  That  afternoon  we  went  over.  Mr. 
Lehman  said  to  Mr.  Smyth,  "If  Kohl  and  Middleton 
wish  the  lease  have  them  sign  it  and  send  it  over  to  the 
Fair  and  I  will  also  sign  it. "  But  Mr.  Smyth  never 
sent  it  over.  The  kindness  of  Mr.  Lehman  I  never 
could  repay. 

I  was  much  surprised  when  in  foreign  countries  to 
notice  the  difference  in  the  circus  performers.  In 
our  country,  where  we  showed  at  a  different  town 
every  day,  it  was  not  necessary  to  change  the  program, 


SO  the  performers  were  educated  for  one  act;  while  in 
foreign  countries  where  we  remained  two,  three  and 
four  months  in  one  place,  they  were  trained  to  do 
many  different  acts,  to  make  possible  a  change  every 

I  noticed  the  children  of  the  performers  were  able 
to  speak  three,  four  or  five  languages,  picking  up  the 
language  of  the  country  they  were  in  very  readily. 

In  those  days  all  foreign  circuses  had  a  number  of 
very  fine  menage  horses,  beautifully  broken  to  do 
their  tricks  under  saddle,  and  the  performers  as  a  rule, 
were  finished  artists. 

The  circus  of  today  is  a  very  different  proposition. 
In  the  early  days  the  clowns  were  very  popular  with 
the  public,  the  same  as  a  celebrated  actor  is  today. 
The  people  were  always  anxious  to  hear  their  latest 
jokes  and  songs.  After  his  arrival  in  a  town,  he  would 
circulate  among  the  wise  ones  of  the  place  get  hold 
of  a  little  gossip  about  some  couple  going  to  marry, 
and  to  the  surprise  of  the  audience  he  would  spring  it 
on  them  in  the  way  of  a  joke.  Great  excitement 
and  pleasure  would  take  place  for  a  few  minutes, 
when  the  horse  would  go  galloping  around  the  ring 
again  with  its  rider. 

But  in  these  days  of  three-rings  and  the  platform 
all  the  talking  is  lost. 

I  have  heard  people  say  they  would  rather  go  to  an 
old  time  show  of  one  ring,  than  the  three-ring  circus, 


but  if  I  am  a  judge,  it  is  dollars  to  marbles  they 

It  is  strange  that  all  large  things  are  more  attractive 
to  the  public  than  small  things.  A  large  horse  is  more 
attractive  generally  than  a  small  one;  a  large  man  is 
more  attractive  than  a  small  one.  I  do  not  know 
why  it  is,  but  it  is  undoubtedly  true  in  everything 
except  a  woman. 

I  had  quite  a  card  travelling  with  me  for  many 
years  by  the  name  of  Johnnie  Murray,  who  was  often 
called  "The  Irish  Lord."  Everything  with  him 
was  a  joke.  If  he  could  get  hold  of  a  big  ring  and 
a  diamond  cross  he  wouldn't  trade  places  with  any 
one  on  earth.  But  half  the  time  the  cross  was  in 
pawn,  as  he  was  very  fond  of  faro  bank.  Sometimes 
when  business  was  very  dull  while  he  was  in  the 
ticket  wagon,  a  farmer  would  come  up  and  say, 
"give  me  two  tickets."  Murray  would  take  a  pencil 
and  piece  of  paper  and  figure  for  about  half  a  minute 
and  then  tell  the  gentleman  that  the  two  tickets 
would  come  to  one  dollar.  On  other  occasions 
we  would  be  pretty  hard  up  for  coin,  with  the  bills 
coming  in  for  hay  and  other  supplies.  About  this 
time  Murray  would  get  out  of  the  wagon,  for  there 
was  no  money  in  it,  and  tell  the  boy  who  would  take 
his  place  to  say  that  the  Treasurer  had  gone  up 
town,  and  that  he  could  not  pay  any  bills  until  his 
return.     And  Murray  would  take  good  care  not  to 


return  until  there  was  some  money  in  the  ticket  wagon, 
when  he  would  bluster  around  and  say  he  was  so 
sorry  to  have  kept  the  gentlemen  waiting. 

John  O'Brien,  whom  I  have  mentioned  before,  was 
quite  original  in  his  way  of  paying  bills  when  hard  up. 
He  was  always  sitting  at  the  entrance,  and  maybe 
there  would  be  ten  men  with  small  bills  and  one  man 
with  a  bill  that  amounted  to  as  much  as  all  the  other 
ten.  O'Brien  would  figure  up  what  the  ten  small 
bills  amounted  to  and  pay  them  off  and  they  would  go 
on  their  way  rejoicing.  The  man  with  the  large  bill 
would  contend  that  he  was  there  first  and  should 
have  had  his  money  first.  O'Brien  would  explain  to 
him  that  it  was  easier  for  him  to  satisfy  the  man 
with  the  large  bill  and  keep  him  quiet  than  it  was  the 
ten  men  with  the  small  bills;  that  one  man  with  the 
small  bill  out  of  the  ten  would  make  just  as  much 
noise  and  insist  just  as  hard  for  his  money  as  the  one 
man  with  the  large  bill,  I  thought  this  was  very  good 
logic.  It  was  much  better  to  have  one  man  yelling 
around  there  for  his  money  than  ten. 

The  last  season  I  traveled  with  O'Brien  he  said 
some  day  he  was  going  to  give  a  lecture  and  that  his 
subject  would  be:  "The  Way  of  the  Transgressor  is 
Hard;"  and  with  him  it  was  no  joke. 

While  traveling  with  Barnum's  Show,  with  which 
I  was  interested  in  the  side  show  and  concert  and 
candy  stands,  I  became  quite  well  acquainted  with 


Mr.  Barnum.  I  found  him  quite  an  interesting 
gentleman,  but  very  jealous  of  his  name  being  con- 
nected with  any  show  business  which  was  not  all 
right  and  first  class  in  every  particular.  His  name 
was  very  valuable  when  connected  with  any  amuse- 
ment enterprise. 

Barnum  always  regretted  having  said  in  his  first 
publication  of  the  history  of  his  life  that  "American 
people  loved  to  be  humbugged."  He  told  me  that 
he  had  eliminated  it  in  all  the  later  editions.  It 
annoyed  him  greatly  if  any  small  weekly  country 
newspaper  spoke  disparagingly  of  his  show. 

I  had  Tom  Thumb  working  for  me  at  one  time. 
One  day  Barnum  was  speaking  to  me  about  him, 
saying  how  ungrateful  Tom  was;  that  he  had  made 
Tom  Thumb  the  drawing  card  that  he  was,  but  on 
account  of  a  falling  out  they  had  he  had  cut  Tom  out 
of  his  will.  Then  when  I  would  be  speaking  to  Tom 
about  Barnum,  he  would  declare  that  he  had  made 
Barnum  by  exhibiting  for  him. 

I  decided  I  wanted  a  buggy  team  and  went  to 
Milwaukee  and  paid  five  thousand  dollars  for  a  pair  of 
trotters,  Jack  and  Knight.  Got  a  nice  Brewster  buggy 
and  sleigh  and  was  having  nice  rides,  enjoying  it  all 
very  much.  People  would  ask  about  them  and  tell 
me  they  had  seen  Jack  race  as  a  four  year  old  and  that 
I  ought  not  to  drive  him  but  have  him  trained  to  race, 
which  I  did.     He  proved  a  great  horse,  the  best  of 


his  year.  People  said,  "Such  luck  some  men  have. 
Carrigan  sold  that  team  to  Middleton  for  all  that 
money."  Then  when  Jack  began  to  show  a  great 
horse  they  said  "  What  luck  some  men  have.  Middle- 
ton  got  that  team  from  Carrigan  for  nothing. "  Budd 
Doble  did  the  driving.  I  had  a  race  horse  instead 
of  a  road  horse  and  I  did  not  have  any  more  rides. 
But  under  the  excellent  care  and  guidance  of  Mr. 
Budd  Doble  Jack  proved  the  great  race  horse  of  the 
year  and  many  days  I  sat  in  the  grand  stand  and 
saw  him  pilot  him  to  victory.  Doble  often  tells  that 
after  his  great  race  at  Rochester,  N.  Y.,  where  he 
won  the  ten  thousand  dollar  flower  stake  I  asked 
Doble  to  stick  a  pin  in  me  to  see  if  I  was  alive  or  dreaming. 

In  the  early  days,  like  the  present,  press  agents 
were  always  looking  out  for  catchy  lines  and  about  this 
time  panoramas  were  being  built  in  all  large  cities, 
most  of  them  depicting  large  battles.  One  of  them 
was  of  Christ  entering  Jerusalem,  and  the  press  agent 
wishing  to  have  the  manager  stand  out  big,  made 
the  advertisement  read,  "Christ  entering  Jerusalem, 
under  the  management  of  James  Jordon". 

Barnum,  like  many  others,  regretted  getting  old. 
He  told  me  one  day  that  he  would  give  all  he  had  in  the 
world  if  he  could  set  the  peg  back  twenty  years. 

One  of  his  great  sayings  was,  that  "all  men  must 
have  a  vent  so  they  can  blow  off  and  not  explode. " 


I  hired  a  large  horse  from  Barnum  once  and  had 
him  on  exhibition  in  my  museum  on  the  Bowery. 
I  took  particular  pains  to  paint  on  the  banner  in 
front  of  the  house  that  the  horse  belonged  to  Barnum. 
He  happened  to  pass  on  the  street  one  day  and  came 
in  to  see  me  about  it,  and  said  he  objected  to  the  way 
I  was  advertising  the  horse;  that  I  had  his  name 
out  in  such  a  way  that  people  would  think  it  was 
Barnum 's  museum.  I  told  him  that  I  only  wished 
it  was,  that  I  would  like  to  have  his  name  up  over 
the  museum  as  in  the  old  days.  He  said,  "Well, 
maybe  we  can  arrange  it  some  day."  But  that  day 
never  came. 

When  Barnum  toured  Jenny  Lind  through  the 
country  the  people  of  Madison  induced  him  to  have 
her  sing  in  their  city.  There  being  no  theater  or 
hall  suitable  they  fitted  up  an  old  pork  house  where  she 
gave  her  concert.  In  years  afterwards  Mr.  Barnum 
often  referred  to  it  when  speaking  to  me. 

I  sometimes  wonder  if  there  is  any  person  with 
ambition  who  is  perfectly  satisfied  and  contented. 

I  had  my  first  lesson  in  this  when  I  was  in  prison 
during  the  war.  When  first  taken  to  Belle  Isle 
prison  the  rations  they  served  us  were  very  good.  We 
had  fresh  meat,  sweet  potatoes,  beans,  white  bread, 
etc.,  but  as  the  war  dragged  along  these  things 
began  to  get  very  scarce.  The  Southern  soldiers, 
themselves,  after  a  while  had  nothing  but  black  eyed 


peas,  sweet  potatoes  or  corn  bread,  and  not  much  of 
these,  and  never  but  one  of  them  at  a  time.  Then  we 
began  to  wish  that  we  could  get  enough  to  fill  us  up 
on  even  one  kind.  We  thought  we  would  be  perfectly 
satisfied  if  we  had  plenty  of  it,  even  if  it  was  only 
corn  bread  or  black  eyed  peas.  After  a  time  I 
began  to  fare  better  by  speculating  a  little,  and  then  I 
wanted  wheat  bread,  which  I  bought.  When  I  had 
all  the  wheat  bread  I  wanted,  I  began  to  wish  for  some 
meat.  After  I  was  enjoying  all  the  meat  I  could  eat, 
I  wanted  pie. 

It  has  been  so  all  through  my  life,  and  while  people 
who  do  not  have  means  ridicule  the  idea  that  you  are 
rich  if  you  are  contented,  it  really  is  the  only  wealth 
in  the  world,  because  being  contented  means  every- 

In  traveling  over  the  country  I  was  much  impressed 
Avith  the  soldiers'  monuments  I  saw  in  the  different 
states  and  cities  and  counties,  and  always  hoped 
the  day  would  come  when  I  could  erect  one,  for  I 
always  felt  if  any  soldiers  deserved  a  monument,  those 
from  Jefferson  county  did.  The  old  saying  that 
"everything  comes  to  those  who  wait,"  came  in  my 
instance,  and  I  took  great  pleasure  and  pride  in 
erecting  a  monument  at  my  old  home  at  Madison. 
I  shall  never  forget  when  Mr.  Kohl  was  talking  to 
me  down  at  Madison  at  the  time  of  the  dedication. 
He  was  very  much  pleased  to  be  there  with  me  and 


to  see  what  I  had  done,  but  he  would  get  me  to  one 
side  once  in  a  while  and  say,  "George,  I  have  always 
regarded  you  as  a  man  of  good  sense;  how  you  ever 
went  out  into  the  army  and  let  them  shoot  at  you  for 
thirteen  dollars  a  month,  I  do  not  understand." 

We  were  together  for  twenty-eight  years,  and  in 
all  that  time  we  never  disputed  one  cent  with  each 

Great  changes  take  place  during  a  business  life. 
There  was  a  time  when  I  knew  every  manager,  every 
agent  and  every  performer  with  every  circus  in  the 
country.  I  went  to  the  Barnum  and  Bailey  show 
last  week  and  there  was  only  one  man  in  the  whole 
outfit  that  I  knew — Mr.  J.  Rial. 

Before  showing  through  South  America  I  had  picked 
out  attractions  that  would  appeal  to  the  eye  as 
far  as  I  could,  like  a  fire  eater,  swordsman,  an  educated 
pig,  a  woman  without  arms  who  could  write,  sew,  etc. 
Then  I  had  some  dancing  girls  in  tights.  Everything 
went  along  very  nicely  until  one  day,  at  Montevideo, 
when  a  committee  of  prominent  Germans  called  on 
me  to  protest  against  my  having  a  banner  displayed 
with  the  picture  of  an  educated  pig  named  Bismark. 
They  thought  so  much  of  Bismark  that  they  did  not 
like  to  see  his  name  desecrated.  I  told  them  they 
ought  to  feel  honored,  that  it  was  surely  a  wonderful 
pig  as  wonderful  in  his  way  as  Bismark  was  in  his. 
Nobody  else  but  a   German   would  have  made   a 


protest  for  a  thing  like  that,  and  I  kept  the  name 
Bismark  for  the  pig,  just  the  same. 

Traveling  through  the  South  was  very  precarious 
business,  as  in  those  days  many  of  the  states  were 
not  reconstructed  and  had  no  use  for  the  Yankee. 

I  remember  one  day  at  Oxford,  Mississippi,  where 
three  or  four  men  came  up  to  the  tent.  One  of  them 
took  out  a  large  knife,  slashed  an  opening  down 
through  the  side  of  the  wall  and  asked  if  it  was  the 
door.  We  answered,  "yes,  come  right  in."  They 
looked  around,  and  when  their  curiosity  was  satisfied 
they  departed. 

Another  day  down  at  Van  Buren,  Arkansas,  the 
citizens  got  to  quarreling  among  themselves,  shooting 
at  each  other,  and  when  it  was  all  over  a  couple  of 
dead  horses  lying  in  the  street  looked  as  if  there  had 
been  a  battle  fought  there. 

One  night  while  showing  at  Canton,  Mississippi, 
a  colored  man  offended  some  southerners  and  when 
the  show  was  out  one  of  the  gentlemen  shot  the  negro 
— as  we  supposed,  dead — but  when  they  passed  on, 
Mr.  Negro  got  up  and  walked  off.  He  had  "played 
the  'possum  "  and  got  away  with  it. 

I  was  always  amused  at  the  circus  and  menagerie 
owned  by  a  man  by  the  name  of  Smith,  who  did 
most  of  his  traveling  through  Texas.  Naturally 
they  would  have  to  drive  late  at  night  or  early  in 
the  morning,  as  the  roads  were  bad  and  distances 


long.  Once  in  a  while  would  be  heard  the  call 
**Whoa, "  which  meant  for  the  team  ahead  to  stop, 
and  they  would  always  pass  the  word  along.  When 
asked  what  was  the  matter  they  would  answer  that 
one  of  the  bears  had  fallen  out.  Everyone  would 
have  to  stop,  help  lasso  the  bear  and  put  him  back  in 
the  cage,  which  was  nothing  more  than  an  old  ram- 
shackle and  hardly  fit  to  hold  bears. 

We  had  a  funny  incident  down  in  Florida  one  day. 
There  was  a  drunken  guy,  as  the  boys  called  him, 
hanging  around  all  day  looking  for  a  fight.  He  kept 
on  taking  drinks  quite  frequently  until  night  overtook 
him,  so  he  lay  down  about  two-hundred  yards  from 
the  tent  in  the  grass  among  the  palm  trees.  One  of 
the  boys  went  out  where  he  was  sleeping,  and  with  a 
sharp  knife  slit  his  clothes  up  the  legs,  body  and  arms, 
so  that  when  he  awoke  during  the  night  and  sobered 
up  a  little,  he  just  stood  up  out  of  his  clothes.  It 
pleased  every  one,  as  he  had  been  an  awful  nuisance 
around  there  all  day. 

With  the  Great  Eastern  Circus  in  Texas  one  winter 
we  always  unloaded  the  show  alongside  the  lot  when- 
ever it  was  possible.  On  one  occasion  we  struck  a 
town  where  the  craze  and  excitement  was  chicken 
fights.  Most  of  us  put  in  the  day  looking  at  the 
fights.  Charley  Stiles,  who  was  quite  a  character, 
said  one  could  buy  a  chicken  for  $5.00,  put  him  in 
the  pit,  and  by  the  time  he  could  turn  around  to 


spit  the  chicken  was  dead.  It  was  quick  work. 
When  night  came  they  had  what  they  called  a  Battle 
Royal.  Any  one  could  buy  a  chicken  and  enter 
him  in  the  fight.  I  think  there  were  fifteen  in  the  pit, 
and  the  last  one  to  leave  the  pit  alive  was  the  victor. 
It  was  surely  an  unsightly  scene. 

It  was  always  amusing  to  watch  the  circus  dogs 
traveling  with  the  wagon  shows.  They  would  go 
alongside,  in  front  and  behind  the  wagons,  whenever 
they  chose,  but  when  they  came  to  a  farm  house 
Mr.  Foxy  Dog  would  always  run  under  the  wagon 
and  travel  along  between  the  two  pole  horses  so  the 
country  dogs  would  be  unable  to  reach  them.  After 
passing  beyond  the  farm  house  they  would  come 
out  and  travel  along  in  their  usual  way. 

Speaking  about  dogs,  it  reminds  me  of  two  that 
were  owned  by  the  Olympic  Theater  at  Chicago. 
They  were  surely  characters  and  possessed  a  great 
deal  of  intelligence,  as  they  would  travel  around 
to  the  different  saloons  and  get  lunch  off  the  counters 
where  they  were  known.  But  on  one  occasion  they 
lost  their  heads  and  nearly  lost  their  lives.  They 
had  been  accustomed  to  sleeping  in  the  lower  boxes, 
which  were  about  on  a  level  with  the  stage  floor, 
but  in  some  way  which  was  never  explained  they  got 
into  an  upper  box  and  when  they  were  whistled  for, 
thought  they  were  in  the  lower  box  and  that  all  they 
had  to  do  was  to  hop  out  on  the  stage.    When  they 


made  their  hop  they  found  that  they  were  thirty 
feet  above  the  stage  in  an  upper  box,  landing  on  the 
stage  below  much  to  their  surprise  and  discomfiture. 
But  they  were  always  careful  ever  after  not  to  go 
into  an  upper  box. 

It  was  always  amusing  and  a  dead  give-away  to 
hire  teamsters  in  the  town  to  haul  the  cages  in  the 
circus  parade.  Lined  up  along  the  sidewalks  would 
be  the  citizens,  and  among  them  the  driver's  friends, 
calling  "Hello,  Jim,"  "Hello,  John,"  etc.,  which 
always  injured  the  business. 

I  think  one  of  the  funniest  things  that  ever  happened 
was  when  John  Wilson  shipped  his  circus  from  San 
Francisco  to  Australia.  He  told  his  wife  that  the 
steamer  would  not  sail  until  Wednesday  morning, 
but  instead  of  that  he  fixed  it  to  sail  Tuesday  night. 
He  wanted  to  leave  her  behind.  So  when  she  went 
down  Wednesday  morning  she  found  the  steamer  had 
sailed  with  all  on  board.  In  a  couple  of  days  a 
faster  steamer  left.  She  took  passage  on  it  and 
when  the  steamer  carrying  Wilson  and  his  circus 
landed  at  the  pier  in  Auckland,  New  Zealand,  Wilson's 
wife  was  there  to  meet  him.  When  the  circus  boys 
spied  her  they  remarked,  "Why,  there  is  Dutch 
Lizzie."     She  was  a  big  blonde. 

The  Happy  Family  Circus  always  amused  me. 
It  usually  included  cats,  pups,  rabbits  and  monkeys, 
all  living  together  in  harmony.     Once  in  a  while  we 


would  put  in  a  strange  rabbit,  and  Mr.  Monkey  was 
always  very  wary.  The  first  thing  they  usually 
did  was  to  push  up  a  barricade  of  straw  between 
themselves  and  the  new  arrival.  In  a  short  time 
they  would  be  peeking  over  to  see  what  the  rabbit 
was  doing.  Then  they  would  muster  up  courage 
and  reach  over  and  touch  the  rabbit.  If  he  offered 
no  resistance  it  was  but  a  little  while  before  one 
would  be  pitying  him,  for  Mr.  Monkey  would  be 
riding  on  his  back  all  over  the  cage  holding  his  two 
ears  as  though  they  were  a  bridle. 

I  remember  one  occasion,  when  I  had  two  monkeys 
in  a  cage  and  the  small  one  got  out.  He  went  over 
to  a  near  by  trunk,  took  the  things  out  of  it  and 
carried  them  over  to  the  large  monkey  in  the  cage, 
who  destroyed  them  as  fast  as  the  small  monkey 
brought  them  to  him.  Such  things  as  parasols  he 
would  strip  down  to  the  wires. 

This  monkey  Jeff,  that  I  have  mentioned  before, 
was  always  up  to  something,  and  whenever  any 
one  would  call  to  me  that  Jeff  was  trying  to  untie 
his  chain,  Jeff  became  that  person's  enemy  for  all 
time  to  come. 

We  had  men  to  go  ahead  and  mark  the  road  at 
forks,  placing  brush  or  sticks  across  the  road  which 
we  were  not  to  take.  We  had  diflSculties,  notwith- 
standing, for  sometimes  they  were  not  very  careful 
and  often  times  it  was  too  dark  to  see  the  object. 


I  remember  down  near  New  Orleans  one  winter, 
that  after  climbing  up  a  pole  and  burning  matches 
to  read  the  sign,  it  was  discovered  to  read,  "Get 
your  shirts  at  Moody's  New  Orleans. "  This  became 
a  by- word  with  the  boys  afterward.  Moody  was 
certainly  a  great  advertiser  for  those  days.  When 
on  the  prairie  and  we  had  nothing  else  with  which 
to  mark  the  road  we  would  pull  grass  and  stretch 
across  the  roads  which  we  were  not  to  take. 

When  I  was  in  Java  I  would  frequently  go  out  to 
the  Zoological  Garden  where  there  was  a  very  large 
elephant  confined  with  a  chain.  Even  in  that  country 
the  natives  were  not  averse  to  making  a  dime,  so  they 
kept  two  or  three  barrels  of  cocoanuts  on  sale  at 
five  cents  each,  which  people  would  buy  to  throw  to 
the  elephant.  It  was  interesting  to  see  how  the 
elephant  would  get  the  milk  and  meat  out  of  them. 
There  was  fastened  around  his  front  foot  a  very 
heavy  chain.  He  would  take  the  cocoanut  in  his 
trunk,  crack  it  on  the  chain,  and  quick  as  a  flash 
have  it  up  to  his  mouth  drinking  the  milk.  After 
he  had  finished  the  milk  he  would  drop  the  cocoanut 
on  the  ground  and  tramp  lightly  upon  it  with  his  foot 
to  break  away  the  white  meat  from  the  shell.  There 
was  very  little  of  it  left  when  he  had  finished. 

On  starting  out  from  near  Louisville  one  spring  we 
were  all  very  short  of  money.  Gardner  and  I  had  to 
have  some  money  and  I  remembered  I  had  credit 


at  a  jewelry  house  in  Cincinnati.  Selling  a  pair  of 
cuflF  buttons,  three  shirt  studs  and  a  collar  button,  all 
on  one  card  was  a  new  thing  in  those  days  so  I  sent 
up  and  bought  a  lot  of  them.  I  had  a  funny  fellow 
with  me  by  the  name  of  Castella,  who  was  a  good 
salesman.  He  went  out  on  the  street  corners  and 
sold  five  to  ten  dollars  worth  every  day,  bring  the 
money  down  to  us  in  the  evening,  giving  us  a  little 
go-along  money.  We  needed  it  badly  for  W.  E. 
Franklin  told  me  years  afterwards  that  I  had  remarked 
that  Billie  Gardner  could  not  go  into  the  dining 
room  without  his  overcoat  on  as  his  trousers  were  not 

I  am  told  there  are  two  bad  payers  in  the  world — 
one  that  pays  in  advance  and  one  that  never  pays 
at  all.  I  agree  that  paying  in  advance  is  a  bad 
thing,  because  on  one  occasion  I  came  near  losing 
my  life  by  so  doing.  After  the  show  was  out  one 
night  I  called  into  a  little  restaurant  near  where 
they  were  loading  the  cars,  to  have  a  cup  of  coffee 
and  a  piece  of  pie,  paying  for  it  as  soon  as  served. 
In  the  meantime  the  man  whom  I  had  paid  had 
left  to  go  over  to  his  house  to  get  some  doughnuts, 
and  while  he  was  away  I  finished  my  coffee  and  pie 
and  was  walking  out,  when  one  of  the  men  behind  the 
counter  asked  me  if  I  had  paid  for  my  coffee.  I 
told  him  I  had.  He  disputed  it.  I  asked  where  the 
other  man  was,  and  said  I  would  wait  until  he  returned. 


I  became  annoyed  at  the  idea  of  being  held  up  there 
for  a  cup  of  coffee  and  started  out.  As  I  did  so  one 
of  them  hit  me  with  a  brick  and  the  other  shot  me. 
I  came  near  losing  my  life.  On  another  occasion, 
when  on  the  steamer  leaving  Melbourne,  Joe  Williams, 
one  of  the  performers,  and  a  calliope  player  whose 
name  was  Palmer,  became  involved  in  a  misunder- 
standing. I  foolishly  stepped  in  between  them  to  keep 
them  from  fighting,  and  Palmer  in  trying  to  shoot 
Williams  shot  me  instead.  I  felt  strange,  after 
serving  in  the  army  where  it  was  their  business  to 
shoot,  and  never  being  hit,  to  be  shot  twice  afterward 
over  a  cup  of  coffee  and  while  acting  as  peacemaker. 

I  often  think  of  the  old  days  when  I  see  Mclntyre 
and  Heath  playing  the  "Georgia  Minstrels."  Heath 
remarks  to  Mclntyre  when  he  takes  from  him  the 
pocketbook  he  has  found,  "What  business  have  you 
with  money?"  I  guess  that  is  what  some  of  their 
acquaintances  thought  some  years  ago  according  to  a 
story  related  to  me  by  Mclntyre.  One  day  in  San 
Francisco  they  informed  him  that  one  of  the  Daly  Bros, 
was  dead  and  invited  him  down  to  look  at  the  corpse. 
On  the  way  down  they  stopped  at  several  saloons  to 
wash  down  their  grief  and  drown  their  sorrows,  and 
by  the  time  they  brought  Mclntyre  to  the  corpse 
he  was  pretty  well  filled  up.  They  had  the  whole 
plan  arranged  for  him.  The  lights  were  turned 
down,  and  in  a  coflSn  they  had  a  fellow  with  big  long 


whiskers.  The  crowd  was  weeping  and  groaning  and 
expressing  their  sympathy,  and  as  they  led  Jim  up 
to  take  a  last  look  he  asserted,  "That  is  not  Daly." 
They  said,  "Yes  it  is."  "Why,"  he  says,  "I  know 
Daly.  That  is  not  him."  By  that  time  they  had 
Jim's  pocketbook  and  his  watch  and  took  Jim  out 
of  the  room  and  back  up  town,  stripped  as  clean  as 
a  chicken,  I  think  this  was  about  as  strong  a  game 
as  I  have  ever  known  any  of  them  to  work.  I  think 
they  must  have  thought,  as  Heath  says,  "What 
business  have  you  with  money?"  These  two  men  are 
remarkable.  They  have  been  together  for  over 
forty  years,  and  I  hope  they  will  live  to  enjoy  their 



Col.  John  Hopkins  was  a  character.  When  it  was 
announced  that  I  had  given  a  Soldiers'  monument 
to  Jefferson  County,  Indiana,  he  remarked  that  I 
ought  to  do  some  nice  thing;  that  most  of  my  life 
had  been  spent  in  passing  silver  three-cent  pieces 
for  dimes;  that  I  paid  a  premium  for  them.  My 
friends  informed  him  they  had  told  me  what  he 
had  said.  Next  time  we  met  and  before  I  had 
said  a  word,  he  informed  me  it  was  Kohl  he  had  said 
had  changed  three-cent  pieces  for  dimes.  Poor 
John  has  passed  away.  He  was  a  good  sport,  handled 
prize  fighters,  had  race  horses  and  was  always  on 
hand  when  anything  was  going  on.  I  heard  him  tell 
Keith  in  Boston  one  day,  when  he  was  showing  him 
around  the  theater,  that  if  ever  he  had  money  enough 
to  build  a  theater  like  Mr.  Keith's,  he  would  put 
the  money  in  his  pocket  instead  and  run  down  the 
road  with  it  so  fast  that  all  one  could  see  would  be 
his  coat  tails  flying  in  the  dust. 

I  often  think  that  the  dime  museum  was  responsible 
for  a  great  many  bad  actors  being  turned  loose  in 
the  country.  It  is  a  funny  thing  about  a  man  going 
on  the  stage.  It  seems  if  you  only  work  a  half  hour 
on  the  stage  from  that  time  on  they  are  actors  and 


that  is  their  excuse  through  life  for  never  doing  a 
lick  of  work  or  earning  their  living.  There  is  many 
a  one  who  should  go  on  the  Theatrical  Dump  Pile. 

Weber  and  Fields,  who  I  think  have  made  more 
people  laugh  than  any  two  men  in  America,  made 
their  first  appearance  on  the  Dime  Museum  stage, 
298  Bowery,  during  my  ownership. 

I  read  an  admonition  the  other  day  not  to  be 
reminiscent;  that  it  was  a  sign  of  old  age.  It  is 
surely  true,  for  how  could  a  young  person  have 
anything  to  be  reminiscent  about?  One  surely 
must  live  longer  than  the  milk  age  to  get  experience 
to  tell  about.  It  is  like  gray  hair.  Those  who 
die  young  do  not  have  it.  Some  say  their 's  turned 
gray  in  one  night  from  fright,  etc.  People  usually 
admire  gray  hair  on  the  other  person.  I  have  never 
seen  a  case  of  this  quick  change,  except  where  it 
turned  black,  red  or  blonde  in  one  night.  These 
cases  are  frequent.  The  goods  can  be  bought  at 
any  drug  store. 

In  Chicago  the  other  day,  on  my  return  home  from 
visiting  my  friend,  E,  D.  Stair,  in  Detroit,  Michigan, 
I  met  John  Ringling  in  the  Congress  Hotel.  We 
were  glad  to  see  each  other.  Inquiry  developed 
that  we  both  were  going  to  New  Orleans,  so  I  accepted 
John's  kind  invitation  to  go  with  him  in  his  private 
car.  Mrs.  Ringling  was  one  of  the  party  and  she 
told  me  about  losing  one  of  her  pet  black  snakes  at 


their  winter  home  in  Florida.  It  seems  they  had  a 
bull  dog,  a  present  from  Carl  Hagenbeck,  which  was 
jealous  of  the  pet  black  snake,  and  Mrs.  Ringling 
had  cautioned  the  dog  several  times  to  let  the  snake 
alone  when  it  was  lying  on  the  porch.  For  a  while 
there  was  no  trouble,  but  one  day  she  discovered 
Mr.  Bull  Dog  coming  up  from  under  the  house  with 
the  snake  in  his  mouth.  He  had  watched  the  first 
opportunity  to  get  it  alone  and  killed  it.  It  was 
quite  a  loss  to  her  because  it  kept  the  mice,  rats  and 
other  vermin  away  from  the  house.  When  I  arrived 
in  New  Orleans  I  did  not  see  much  change  in  the  city. 
I  made  a  record  in  New  Orleans  once.  I  was  arrested 
there  and  locked  up  for  about  five  minutes  until  the 
desk  sergeant  came  and  let  me  out.  This  was  the 
only  time  I  ever  have  been  arrested.  I  may  have 
deserved  to  be  since  but  if  I  did  they  never  got  me. 
I  am  always  a  little  sore  on  this  city  for  when  our  tent 
blew  down  and  was  torn  to  pieces  I  went  to  New 
Orleans  to  get  needles  and  threads  and  palms  to  sew 
the  tent  with,  and  the  fellow  down  at  the  French 
Market  loaded  me  up  with  left  hand  palms  which  no 
one  could  use  unless  he  was  left  handed.  I  think 
he  worked  oflf  the  accumulation  of  years  on  me. 
However,  I  enjoyed  the  ride  down  to  the  city  and  the 
kind  attentions  of  Mr.  Ringling  and  his  family. 

Erected  at  Madison,  Indiana,  by  George  Middleton 





Erected  to 






By  Their  Comrade 


Private  Company  E,  Third  Regiment 


At  the  dedication  of  the  Middleton  monument 
Friday,  May  29th,  Hon.  Augustus  E.  Willson, 
Governor  of  Kentucky,  spoke  as  follows: 


Soldiers  of  the  Union,  and  guests  who  may  have 
been  upon  the  other  side:  we  honor  ourselves,  our 
country,  Indiana  and  Kentucky,  and  the  old  flag  by 
meeting  here  today.  The  spirit  manifest  shows  that 
this  vast  audience  meets  not  for  the  purpose  of 
business  nor  gain,  but  in  every  heart  beats  a  love  for 


the  flag  and  what  that  statue  stands  for.  The  spirit 
which  beat  in  George  Middleton's  heart  has  found 
expression  in  that  monument.  There  is  something 
in  it  no  other  community  has.  It  speaks  joy  to  the 
eye,  inspiration  to  the  heart,  glory  to  our  country. 
There  is  not  another  group  in  the  land  which  has  so 
much  life,  hope  and  faith  in  it.  Pilgrimages  will  be 
made  to  this  city  in  the  future  to  see  it.  It  is  a 
proper  appreciation  of  this  good  old  county  of  Jefferson 
and  splendid  City  of  Madison.  No  county  in  the 
land  has  a  patriotic  record  which  exceeds  that  of 
this  county  of  Jefferson.  Patriotism  stirred  the 
hearts  of  its  people  and  it  sent  5000  soldiers  to  the 
Union  Army.  I  heard  a  woman  say  today:  "I 
came  from  Kentucky  and  it  is  the  best  State  in  the 
Union.  Another  woman  spoke  up  and  said:  "I  am 
from  Indiana  and  there  is  no  better  State."  A  third 
woman  then  remarked:  "We  are  all  from  the  United 
States  and  it  is  the  best  country  in  the  world. "  That 
is  the  sentiment  for  us  all.  It  is  patriotism,  the 
spirit  which  prompted  Middleton  to  build  this  monu- 
ment, and  prompts  your  presence  here  today  to  see  it 
dedicated.  Every  boy  shall  look  upon  it  as  something 
sacred  and  imperishable,  typifying  loyalty  to  country 
and  duty. 

I  wish  to  say  something  to  you  of  loyalty  to  those 
whom  you  place  in  office  and  power.  At  the  recent 
conference  of  Governors  some  one  objected  to  their 


repetition  on  the  ground  that  some  future  President 
might  take  advantage  of  it.  Another  said :  "  We  have 
never  had  a  President  whom  we  could  not  trust; 
every  one  has  been  a  clean,  upright,  honest  executive. " 
In  an  election  you  fight  hard  in  Indiana  and  sometimes 
we  fight  in  Kentucky.  But  when  a  President  is 
elected  he  is  entitled  to  the  support  of  the  whole 
American  people.  Let  us  be  loyal  to  our  officials,  to 
our  country  and  to  each  other. 

I  have  brought  over  here  today  the  First  Regiment 
of  Kentucky.  I  have  great  pride  in  it,  and  the 
Colonel  who  rode  so  erect,  handsome  and  manly  at 
their  head  followed  John  Morgan  into  Indiana  in 
1863.  The  Colonel  asked  me  to  tell  you  that  the 
other  time  he  rode  to  Madison  every  man  seemed  to 
get  a  gun  or  a  hatchet  and  come  out  to  meet  him.  He 
says  he  likes  the  welcome  you  gave  him  today  better 
than  that  of  1863.  I  congratulate  you  on  the  spirit 
of  patriotism  shown  today,  and  I  bear  you  a  greeting 
from  Kentucky  and  our  soldiers.  We  have  with  us 
today  the  soldiers  of  the  United  States,  the  soldiers  of 
Indiana  and  Kentucky.  They  are  all  ours.  All 
our  boys.  Take  that  into  your  hearts.  There  is 
not  in  the  hearts  of  those  men  any  desire  to  oppress 
you.  They  are  our  boys.  We  build  a  monument  in 
our  hearts  to  these  boys  as  beautiful  as  this  superb 
one  of  bronze  and  granite  to  the  soldiers  of  the  Union. 


This  magnificent  demonstration  is  worthy  of  this 
splendid  spectacle  of  Kentucky  standing  side  by  side 
with  Indiana.  We  are  proud  to  have  Kentucky's 
Governor,  the  Kentucky  regiment  and  Colonel  William 
B.  Haldeman  who  was  with  John  Morgan  here  today. 
We  tried  to  give  him  a  warm  welcome  in  1863.  We 
hope  he  will  come  again  and  often.  While  he  was 
riding  with  John  Morgan  over  Indiana  there  were 
Indiana  boys  at  the  same  time  riding  over  Kentucky 
— so  honors  are  easy. 

It  is  fitting  this  splendid  monument  should  be 
erected  here  to  remain  forever  as  a  symbol  of  the 
patriotism  of  the  men  of  1861.  Comrade  Middleton, 
when  life  was  young  and  sweet,  turned  his  back  on 
aspirations  and  ambitions  and  gave  his  all  to  his 
country.  Successful  as  he  has  been  he  never  used  his 
heart,  brain  and  pocketbook  to  a  better  purpose 
than  when  he  built  this  monument.  In  summer 
rain  and  winter  sleet  it  will  always  tell  the  story  of  a 
nation  redeemed,  a  country  saved,  of  men  made  free 
by  the  idea  typified.  As  children  go  to  school,  as 
men  pass  by,  as  women  go  on  their  way,  looking  upon 
it,  their  minds  will  go  back  to  the  fierce  furnace  heat 
of  war,  and  they  will  thank  the  generous  donor  for  it. 
Where  could  there  be  a  more  fitting  place  for  a 
soldiers'  monument  than  here,  in  this  county  named 
after  Jeflferson,  the  creator  of  the  constitution;  than 


here  in  Madison,  nestling  down  amongst  her  beautiful 
hills?  These  people  did  not  wait  for  the  enemy  to 
come  to  them  but  went  out  to  meet  the  enemy  at 
the  front.  The  Sixth,  13th,  19th,  22nd,  39th,  45th, 
82nd — the  roll  is  too  long  to  call — fifty  organizations 
went  out  from  Jefferson  county  to  do  battle  for  the 
country.  This  superb  monument  fitly  commemorates 
what  they  went  forth  for.  As  we  look  upon  it  let  us 
be  inspired,  in  other  ways,  and  methods  and  different 
fields,  to  remember  to  do  for  our  country  as  the  boys 
of  1861. 


Fellow  Citizens: — 

In  erecting  this  monument  designed  to  perpetuate 
the  memory  of  soldiers  whose  nobility  of  purpose  and 
unflinching  bravery  has  never  been  doubted,  I  enjoy 
a  privilege  and  an  honor  of  which  I  am  deeply 

In  presenting  you  with  the  result  of  prolonged 
and  sincere  efforts  to  secure  a  permanent,  dignified 
and  impressive  emblem  of  respect  for  the  fearless 
soldiery  of  Jefferson  county,  I  become  your  debtor 
in  that  you  have  encouraged  me  to  assume  the 
initiative  in  a  labor  of  love  which  some  other  of  our 
citizens  might  have  performed  with  greater  distinction. 


I  am,  indeed,  deeply  sensible  of  the  honor  which 
springs  from  association  with  a  cause  that  appeals  to 
every  patriotic  heart — a  cause  involving  not  only 
love  of  country  but  a  fixed  sentiment  of  deep  and 
abiding  regard  for  those  who,  arms  in  hand,  have 
risked  life,  or  have  gone  down  to  a  glorious  death, 
for  that  country. 

Standing  here  in  such  a  distinguished  presence  on 
this,  to  me,  most  momentous  occasion  when  the 
dream  of  years  is  at  last  realized,  the  one  regret 
shadowing  the  hour  is  that  our  purpose  of  honoring 
the  living  and  the  dead  was  not  accomphshed  sooner — 
that  this  soldiers'  monument  was  not  completed  years 
ago  when  many  of  our  comrades  who  have  gone  over 
to  the  silent  majority  might  have  been  with  us  to 
join  reverently,  but  with  the  enthusiasm  of  true 
soldiers,  in  proclaiming  this  monument  sacred,  for 
all  time,  to  the  memory  of  the  men  who  went  from  this 
county  during  the  Civil  War  to  fight  for  the  preserva- 
tion of  the  Union.  It  is  my  sincere  belief  that  no 
monument  was  ever  erected  to  braver  or  more  manly 
men  than  those  who  volunteered  from  JefiFerson 
County,  Indiana,  to  support  the  belief  that  the 
Federation  of  States  established  by  the  Revolutionary 
fathers  should  not  be  dissolved  but  must  be  forever 
maintained.  What  other  heroes  of  every  historic  war 
have  done  in  suffering,  enduring  and  dying  for  a 
cherished  cause  they  did,  nobly,  within  the  limits  of  their 


opportunities.  Offering  their  lives  for  the  preservation 
of  freedom  and  justice  to  all  men  who  appealed  to  the 
stars  and  stripes  for  protection,  they  deserve  all  honor 
that  has  been  ascribed  to  the  more  famous  soldiers  of 
the  world.  If  their  names  are  not  enrolled  upon  the 
blazing  tablets  of  military  glory  for  all  the  people  of 
earth  to  look  upon,  they  areenshrined  in  our  hearts  as  we 
dedicate  this  enduring  memorial  of  their  heroic  deeds. 
To  this  county  bearing  the  name  of  Jefferson,  a 
distinguished  President,  and  to  this  city  named  for 
Madison,  another  great  chief  executive  of  the  United 
States,  I  present  and  commit  this  soldiers'  monument 
as  a  sacred  trust.  Guard  it  well  in  memory  of  those 
for  whom  it  has  been  erected.  Guard  it  well  that 
your  children  and  children  s  children,  may  be  inspired 
to  patriotism  by  this  silent  but  eloquent  reminder  of 
times  that  tried  men's  souls  in  the  dark  days  of  '61 — 
of  the  days  when  the  marching  hosts  of  this  great 
Republic  cemented  with  their  blood  the  Union  of 
States  and  established  forever  the  principle  pro- 
claimed by  the  immortal  Lincoln  that  "this  govern- 
ment of  the  people,  by  the  people,  and  for  the  people 
shall  never  perish  from  the  earth." 




It  was  always  my  good  fortune  to  be  associated 
with  fine  gentlemen  which  made  business  with  them 
pleasant  as  well  as  profitable.  A  nice  combination: 
J.  A.  Bailey,  C.  E.  Kohl,  G.  Castle,  E.  D.  Stair,  J.  H. 
Havlin,  J.  J.  Murdock,  M.  Beck,  M.  Meyerfeld,  Jr., 
Paul  Keith,  E.  B.  Albee,  B.  F.  Keith,  M.  C.  Anderson, 
F.  Tate.  All  starting  at  the  bottom,  getting  to  the 
top  and  remaining  there.  In  leaving  them  I  have 
nothing  but  the  best  wishes  for  their  happiness  and 
deserved  success  and  will  never  forget  their  many 
kindnesses  to  me,  and  here  in  California  where  I 
have  settled  to  enjoy  the  beautiful  scenery,  the 
fragrance  of  the  many  roses,  plants  and  flowers,  and 
climate,  I  wiU  enjoy  their  success  as  much  as  if  I  was 
still  interested  with  them. 

On  November  12,  1910,  Chas.  E.  Kohl,  my  former 
partner  and  friend  for  twenty-eight  years,  died.  He 
was  a  remarkable  man,  honest  to  a  penny,  untiring 
worker,  a  great  organizer  and  would  have  been  success- 
ful in  any  business  undertaking ;  to  start  when  he  did 
and  reach  the  top  of  the  ladder  and  remain  there,  bears 
out  all  that  can  be  said  of  him. 




A  small  word  with  a  wealth  of  meaning.  How 
lucky  to  have  known  in  one  small  life  a  friend.  The 
memories  of  my  good  friend  Chas.  E.  Kohl  have  been 
a  solace  to  me  so  often  in  the  last  three  years.  I 
recall  this  friendship  with  the  deepest  feeling,  his 
strength  of  character  was  colossal,  ambitious,  charita- 
ble and  faithful.  I  count  myself  the  luckiest  of  men 
to  have  known  this  noble  character  for  so  many  years. 
The  contact  planted  a  seed  that  has  grown  into 

Many  years  ago,  as  I  mentioned,  I  had  been  to  Java, 
Australia,  Tasmania,  New  Zealand,  South  America, 
and  with  my  friend  Mr.  Henry  Cutter  of  Chicago  I 
made  a  trip  to  England,  Germany,  and  France  which 
I  enjoyed  very  much.  Mrs.  Middleton  never  having 
been  abroad  we  decided  to  go  to  Europe  and  after 
being  over  there  during  the  winter  decided  to  go 
around  the  world,  so  away  we  went  via  India,  China, 
Japan,  Hawaii,  landing  in  San  Francisco  after  a  very 
pleasant  trip.  So  I  find  only  a  few  remaining  places 
for  me  to  see  which  some  day  I  may. 

When  passing  through  San  Jose,  Cal.,  I  called  on 
Col.  W.  B.  Hardy  to  renew  an  acquaintance  made 
with  him  during  the  war  in  Virginia  when  I  was  one  of 


a  squad  underthen  Lieut.  George  A.  Custer  at 
Hardy's  capture.  We  had  a  pleasant  chat.  He  spoke 
feelingly  of  General  Custer's  death  at  the  battle  of 
the  Little  Big  Horn  River,  where  the  whole  command 
was  killed  by  the  Indians. 

I  have  been  divorced  twice  and  married  three  times. 
Paid  each  time  for  my  freedom  and  while  it  cost  me 
much  money,  in  fact  a  fortune,  I  am  pleased  and 
consider  I  got  off  cheaply.  I  cannot  understand  the 
stand  the  Catholic  Church  takes  against  divorce. 
Priests  cannot  act  intelligently  as  they  never  marry 
and  have  no  experience.  In  my  present  wife,  Ruth 
K.  Middleton,  I  have  a  jewel  in  all  the  word  implies, 
and  congratulate  myself  often  for  venturing  out  on  the 
Sea  of  Matrimony  the  third  time,  proving  the  old 
saying  is  true  that  the  third  time  charms. 

Sells  Floto  Show  came  along  the  other  day  under 
the  management  of  Mr.  Fred  Hutchinson,  whom  I 
have  known  ever  since  his  childhood  days,  he  being  a 
nephew  of  Mrs.  James  A.  Bailey  and  brought  up  in  the 
Bailey  school  than  which  there  was  none  better.  He 
showed  me  a  wagon  with  a  patent  hoister  to  load  the 
tents  on  the  wagon  by  rolling  it  on  like  you  would 
roll  up  an  awning.  Also  a  patent  device  that  holds 
the  stringers  without  toe  pins  and  many  other  labor 
saving  devices.     The  show  on  the  whole  was  well 


managed.  Nice  clean  performance.  We  spent  a 
pleasant  day  with  Mr.  Hutchinson  and  his  family, 
enjoying  a  nice  dinner  in  the  cook  tent,  reminding  me 
of  old  times. 

My  old  friend  Robt.  Stickney  the  equestrian  director 
of  the  show,  was  a  delight  to  see,  happy  smiling  face, 
young  heart,  the  same  old  Bob,  time  has  dealt  so 
kindly  with  him.  He  was  the  handsomest,  best 
groomed  man  I  ever  knew  and  a  finished  artist  when 
he  appeared  in  the  ring  to  ride — ^you  never  forget  the 
man  or  his  work.  In  all  my  experience  he  was  one 
of  the  best  in  his  specialty  I  ever  saw  and  there  is  no 
one  to  take  his  place. 

His  wife  and  charming  graceful  daughter  work  to- 
gether like  sisters,  each  true  artists.  I  want  to  add 
here  that  family  life  with  circus  people  is  very  smooth, 
there  are  not  the  small,  petty  things  to  meet  in  a 
domestic  way.  The  circus  woman  remains  younger 
than  other  women,  happier,  freer  from  cares  they 
are  the  most  virtuous  women  always,  being  chaperoned 
by  their  parents  or  older  relatives.  Circus  children 
speak  many  languages,  have  their  books  and  toys, 
enjoying  a  happy  and  practical  childhood  gathering 
a  great  deal  of  education  by  travel  and  contact. 

Mrs.  Hutchinson  and  their  charming  little  daughter 
were  traveling  with  the  circus,  in  their  private  car,  a 
comfortable  home  on  wheels.  We  went  to  the  circus 
lot  about  7:30  a.  m.  remaining  all  day  for  both  per- 


formances,  and  saw  the  tent  go  down  at  night,  having 
dined  in  the  cook  tent.  The  ranges  are  built  in  large 
wagons,  every  thing  so  orderly  each  article  has  its 
place,  and  is  in  its  place.  One  can  get  a  very  good 
lesson  in  order  around  a  circus.  The  food  is  delicious, 
good,  wholesome  food.  Soup,  steak,  potatoes,  salad, 
bread,  celery,  ice  cream,  cake  and  coffee  was  the 
evening  menu.  We  finished  a  full  and  delightful  day 
having  studied  the  different  performers,  their  contented 
faces  left  a  pleasant  and  lasting  impression  of  circus  life. 

While  in  Denver  this  summer,  1913,  we  attended 
the  RingUng  Brothers  Circus  in  company  with  Otto 
Floto  and  his  charming  wife,  in  fact  we  were  on  hand 
for  afternoon  and  night  performances,  as  well  as  on  the 
street  to  see  the  parade.  I  could  not  help  thinking 
how  different  the  show  was  from  the  first  one  I  was 
with  in  Denver;  we  were  lighted  up  with  candles. 
But  no  change  in  the  ginger  cakes,  lemonade  or  peanuts 
and  never  will  be,  this  seems  to  be  part  of  the  circus. 

I  had  some  brothers  named  Berriman  working  for 
me  one  season  in  charge  of  the  outside  candy  stands. 
They  had  tall  glasses  filled  up  with  red  lemonade. 
Along  came  a  party  of  about  eight  elegantly  dressed 
ladies  and  gentlemen.  Berriman  tapping  on  the  glasses 
called  to  them  to  come  running,  come  hopping,  and  get 
the  red  lemonade  and  they  just  for  the  fun  did  as  he  call- 
ed them  to  do,  drank  their  lemonade  and  on  their  way 
they  said  it  was  not  dignified,  but  it  was  all  circus. 






A  large,  comfortable  tent  resting  on  a  green,  grassy 
lawn,  entrance  like  a  reception  hall,  with  large  tables 
on  which  rest  the  ladies  hats  and  wraps.  Let  me  add 
this  tent  is  double,  gentlemen  on  one  side,  ladies  the 
other,  tables  on  each  side,  gent's  hats  and  trappings 
on  one  side,  ladies'  on  the  other.  Performers  have 
their  trunks  numbered,  they  are  placed  in  rotation. 
They  have  a  small  rug,  folding  chair,  small  mirror,  all 
the  toilet  articles  known  to  one  set.  Their  hair  is 
dressed  in  fashion's  latest  twist,  each  lady  wore  a 
kimono  or  dressing  robe,  while  making  her  toilet. 
Modest,  clean,  happy  chatty  women,  mothers  with 
two  or  three  grown  daughers,  you  would  be  unable  to 
guess  the  mother.  While  I  took  a  seat  to  study  and 
enjoy  my  new  friends  I  heard  every  known  tongue. 
It  seemed  good  to  be  a  woman,  I  felt  so  near  to  my  new 
acquaintances,  they  were  so  human  to  each  other, 
one  large  and  happy  family,  living  useful  lives. 

The  bell  rang,  which  was  the  signal  for  the  "  Grand 
Entry.'*     I  hurried  on  to  take  my  seat,  to  recognize 


my  new  friends  as  they  passed  by;  there  was  such 
warmth  of  feeling  in  their  happy  smiles  as  they  bowed, 
leaving  much  food  for  thought  in  my  busy  brain  to 
feed  upon  for  years  to  come. 

Mrs.  Geo,  Middleton 



It  has  always  been  my  good  fortune  to  enjoy 
every  known  out-door  sport.  I  am  a  great  believer  in 
a  complete  diversion  from  business  cares  (and  I 
might  add  domestic).  From  early  youth  hunting 
has  been  my  chief  passion — deer  hunting  in  Indian 
Territory,  prairie  chickens  in  Dakota,  wild  ducks 
in  Manitoba,  kangaroos  in  Australia,  and  quail  here 
in  California  have  offered  a  great  deal  of  pleasure  for 
me.  Trap  shooting  I  consider  a  great  science  and  a 
wonderful  training  for  the  eye.  It  is  a  clean,  gentle- 
manly sport,  always  enjoyed  by  high-class  gentlemen. 

Another  delightful  sport  that  it  has  been  my 
pleasure  to  know  was  cruising  and  racing  on  Lake 
Michigan  on  my  yacht  Charlotte  R.,  a  comfortable 
craft  accommodating  fifteen  people.  I  passed  many 
a  pleasant  week-end  aboard  her,  and  sailed  a  few  good 
races  each  season,  adding  spice  to  the  sport. 

Horses  and  dogs  have  always  given  me  a  great  deal 
of  pleasure.  The  horse,  the  most  noble  animal  in  the 
world,  I  think,  is  the  most  abused.  Throughout  my 
life  I  have  known  the  faithfulness  and  fidelity  of 
most  every  known  breed  of  dog.  A  boy  who  has 
grown  up  not  knowing  the  love  of  animals  has  missed 
a  great  deal  in  his  youth. 


Golf  has  offered  a  great  field  of  diversion  and 
pleasure  for  me  for  a  great  many  years.  It  is  a 
pleasant  and  fascinating  out-door  game. 

I  am  not  surprised  at  the  hold  the  game  of  baseball 
has  taken  on  the  American  people.  It  is  being  played 
all  over  the  world.  When  I  was  in  Japan  a  few 
years  ago  I  was  surprised  to  see  the  Japanese  teams 
and  their  enthusiasm  in  the  game.  To  become  a  good 
player  it  is  necessary  to  be  skillful  mentally  as  well  as 
physically.    It  is  truly  American. 



Here  ends  my  notes,  as  I  have  never  kept  a  diary  or 
a  line  in  my  life.  It  has  been  a  queer  and  pleasant 
sensation  to  cast  an  attentive  look  behind  into  the  cal- 
endar of  my  mind  after  a  long  and  successful  life. 
What  a  vast  number  of  events  disappear  in  a  life  with- 
out leaving  a  trace;  age  modifies  and  changes  the 
nature  of  our  impressions  but  nevertheless  does  not 
blot  them  out. 

Kind  friend  and  reader,  it  is  delicate  to  write  of  one*s 
self;  my  friends  have  asked  for  my  circus  memoirs, 
and  as  you  follow  with  me  through  the  experiences 
I  hope  you  enjoy  them  as  much  as  I  do  to  pass  them 
on  to  you. 

I  wish  it  understood  that  this  book  was  not  written 
to  fill  a  long-felt  want,  and  I  do  not  expect  it  to  be 
one  of  the  six  best  sellers. 



Contented  thoughts  weave  a  charm  within  my 

heart  as  I  write, 
Crowned  not  by  jewels  fair  or  rare, 

Contently  content. 
A  seat  among  the  flowers  with  California's  sunshine 

Fortune  placed, 
Charmed,  contented,  soothed  in  the  eve  of  life 

Not  but  good  to  live. 

Not  but  good  to  breathe. 


"Turning   the    accomplishments   of   many   years, 
into  an  hour  glass. " — Shakespeare — Henry  V. 

57  32     4 





'^  OCTo 



[ilC  1  7  20l» 


Form  L-» 
2f)ni-l,"  41(1122) 



A    001344161    3